Los Angeles Times: Weedmaps is Riddled with Suspicious Reviews

Article by Paresh Dave, Los Angeles Times

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Millions of consumers treat Weedmaps like the Yelp for pot, relying on the Irvine company as their definitive guide to marijuana dispensaries, varieties and doctors.

But a key feature — user reviews of pot businesses — may be tainted by thousands of potentially fraudulent comments, a flaw in the company’s software revealed.

Reviews on the site are pseudonymous, and visitors reasonably expect that each is written by a unique customer. But data that Weedmaps mistakenly leaked suggests a large proportion of a glowing remarks come from individual users leaving multiple reviews of a single business.

Of 598 businesses examined by the Los Angeles Times and a software developer, 70% had at least one batch of reviews originating from the same IP address.

A separate analysis looking at the text in reviews estimates that 62% of all dispensary comments on Weedmaps are fake.

Read full article here.

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