SynchroLife is building the world’s first blockchain based restaurant recommendation platform, striving to provide restaurant goers around the world with accurate restaurant information and trustworthy reviews by rewarding users with tokens.
Users can earn SynchroCoin (“SYC”, an Ethereum based ERC20 token) by posting restaurant ratings and photos, updating restaurant business information, translating restaurant information, and contributing to the SynchroLife platform in other ways. Users are encouraged to contribute to the platform and help it grow, as they are rewarded for all of their time and content contributed.
With SynchroCoin tokens earned, users can then purchase premium features for the mobile app, tip other users, purchase special restaurant coupons or gift cards, and even pay for meals at participating restaurants.
However, this brings up a big question.
How will we protect the SynchroLife platform from fake reviews?
With a platform like SynchroLife, fake reviews could be used to:
- Attempt to unfairly earn extra SynchroCoin token rewards
- Advertise for a restaurant with non-authentic positive reviews
- Harm the online reputation and negatively effect the business of a restaurant with excessively harsh and non-authentic bad reviews
Non-authentic positive and negative reviews are already an issue on many restaurant review services worldwide, and a source of both confusion and dispute amongst diners and restaurant owners. And with token rewards for reviews, SynchroLife presents even more temptation for ill-intentioned individuals to attempt to cheat the system.
Preventing against these fake reviews is of great importance to the SynchroLife Team because trust in the token rewards system, the restaurant business information provided, and the reviews in SynchroLife is essential for the success and usability of the platform.
Our team is determined to build a system where the SynchroCoin token reward system is not abused and where restaurants pages are free from dishonest reviews.
In this blog post, we would like to address some of the steps we plan to take to prevent these fake reviews.
Preventing Fake Reviews from Getting Token Rewards 💸
Perhaps one of the biggest concerns we have heard from the community regarding fake reviews is that they may be used by ill-intentioned individuals to try to unfairly earn SynchroCoin tokens.
To help prevent fake reviews from getting token rewards, users who post restaurant reviews or restaurant business information updates will not automatically be rewarded with SynchroCoin tokens. In general, only quality content will be rewarded. Quality content will be judged in several ways and rewards will be distributed on a once a week basis.
For restaurant ratings, the value of a post and whether or not it receives a SynchroCoin token reward will be heavily calculated based on the community’s reaction to that rating (including but not limited to: likes, pins, views, click throughs, comments) and that user’s history (such as how many posts they’ve made before, how their past posts have performed, if they have rating restaurants in that area previously, length of the review, and other history).
For restaurant business information changes and edits, all information added, changed, or translated on the platform will be double-checked and reviewed by other users acting as reviewers. Users who wish to add new restaurants, edit restaurant business information, or translating restaurant business information will be required to also act as an information reviewer to help ensure there are enough reviewers.
Reviewers will review and double-check the new restaurants, business information, and translations added by other users to verify their accuracy. Whether or not changes and edits are approved or not will be saved to the blockchain, and only changes and edits that receive approval from reviewers will be displayed in the platform and then eligible to earn SynchroCoin token rewards.
Regarding how reviewers are chosen, reviewers will be matched and assigned by an algorithm in SynchroLife based on their region and language to assure they are able to verify the information they are reviewing. Users will also have to have a certain amount of history in the platform before being approved as a reviewer.
Multiple users will have to approve information for it to be eligible to receive SynchroCoin token rewards, making it hard for individuals or even groups to game the system by creating multiple accounts to approve their fake information. Over time, the more users that become reviews and contribute information, the harder it will be for any individual or group to scam the system.
It is also worth noting that all of the reviewer history of approvals and disprovals will be saved to the Ethereum blockchain. Any suspicious activity or users believed to be trying to abuse the system can be quickly tracked by both SynchroLife Team and the community at large. If it becomes apparent a user or set of users is misusing the system or purposely approving fake information and content in any way, the SynchroLife Team can take action to stop these accounts.
Another way of limited fake reviews from abusing the system to receive SynchroCoin rewards is that the amount of SynchroCoin distributed on a weekly basis as rewards will be limited. Each week the amount of SynchroCoin rewards distributed will be divided amongst everyone who contributed quality content that week, so the total reward pool (20,000,000 SynchroCoin tokens) cannot be suddenly drained by any user or bot trying to scam the system.
Every week, users will be rewarded temporarily with “Value” tokens for any actions they preform that are eligible for SynchroCoin token rewards. Value tokens are totaled at the end of each week and used to calculate how many SynchroCoin tokens the user will receive for that week.
Value tokens are nontransferable to other SynchroLife users or other SynchroLife accounts, which ensures that only the users who have contributed to SynchroLife that week will receive Value tokens, and thus SynchroCoin tokens. Value tokens cannot be used outside of SynchroLife. Check the section of our white paper regarding Value tokens (starting on page 25 in the English version) for more details regarding how the rewards are distributed every week.
Fake Reviews (Positive & Negative) for Restaurants 😈
Fake reviews of both positive and negative nature have been a long time issue on online and mobile restaurant review platforms, and the SynchroLife Team is well aware this same problem could easily occur in SynchroLife.
Ill-intentioned users often attempt to use positive fake reviews to boost the image of restaurant in order to attract new customers, while negative fake reviews are used in the opposite manner to sabotage the ranking or online presence of a restaurant. At SynchroLife, we believe both forms of fake reviews to be unfair both to users and restaurants.
The number one line of defense against this kind of dishonest review is the SynchroLife community and everyday users themselves. All users will be able to report any posts or accounts they find suspicious. These reports will be checked by other users acting as reviewers and if the reviewers agree that post or account reported is suspicious the account may be revoked of token reward privileges for that one post or even their whole account. In worse case situations where problems persist all posts made by the problem user may be made invisible to other users, and their account may be frozen as well. The SynchroLife Team will work alongside users to defend against fake reviews.
Another aspect of SynchroLife designed to fight against fake reviews trying to bias a restaurant’s presence in the platform is the personalized search results and recommendations in the platform. There is no one set of search results, no one “ranking” for restaurants, and no average scores are displayed.
Every user is given search results personalized to their own tastes and activity in the app, meaning that if two people search for “Sushi in Tokyo” they may get a totally different set of restaurants recommended in their search results. There is also no average score for any restaurant displayed in either search results or restaurant pages. Even if someone attempts to effect the presence of a restaurant in SynchroLife with positive or negative reviews, they not be able to verify how much effect (if any!) their fake review has had on the restaurant’s presence in the app.
The SynchroLife Team is also considering ways in which the restaurant review behavior of users could be automatically monitored to look for anomalies and flag suspicious posts to help maintain authentic restaurant ratings and photos.
Creating the World’s Most Trustworthy Restaurant Recommendation Platform 🍴
Here at SynchroLife, we are serious about preventing fake reviews from polluting and abusing both the SynchroCoin token reward system and restaurant rating system.
We hope that this blog post helped answer some of your question about how we are planning to work to prevent fake reviews, and we hope we can work together with all of you — the SynchroLife Community — to help keep dishonest and fake reviews out of SynchroLife!
Learn more! Important Links and Information Regarding SynchroLife
SynchroLife Beta App (Without Blockchain Technology and Token Rewards)
100,000+ downloads and a growing global community! Try it yourself!
Official Website: https://synchrolife.org/
White Paper: https://synchrolife.org/whitepaper.html
Official Blog: https://medium.com/@synchrocoin
Beta iOS App: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id557532449
Beta Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.synchrolife
Other Medium Articles by the SynchroLife Team:
・Rewarding Foodies for their Content with Tokens: SynchroLife Press Release
・How SynchroLife Takes a Unique Position in the Competitive Restaurant Search and Discovery Market
・Current Features of the SynchroLife Beta App
・Why We Decided to Use Blockchain Technology with SynchroLife
・SynchroLife’s Token-Based Economy: How Users Can Earn & Spend SynchroCoin (SYC)
・Behind the Scenes: The Meaning of “SynchroLife” and Our Seahorse Icon
・How SynchroLife will Handle Fake Reviews