An unsolved mystery – the Facebook Reviews Attack – Ep.3

A few weeks back, we had a random dude – who we had never heard of – from a Sanskrit-script country leave a negative review.

Not sure why anyone would go through the trouble, but I guess it happens. Moving on, nothing to see here.

 

Then, on and around June 20th, we were hit with 10 fake reviews, that were much better quality as they came from real Lebanese profiles and with comments that were relevant to the business we’re in. Here’s an example:

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No doubt you have great trust in me by now and will take my word that the comments were fake. But I’ll still make my case for the doubters: as we wrote below each of them, we had no trace of an order from any of them. Obviously, we didn’t get answers. Actually, we got just one (yep, Mané trolled a little bit on this one!):

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In any case, the tight timeline (all the reviews came within a span of a couple of days – we unfortunately don’t have that get that much traffic, good or bad!) and the fact that half of them are named Abbas seemed suspicious. I know that there are a lot of Abbas in Lebanon, but I’m not sure why they would suddenly all get angry at us.

 

Now, we’re not above criticism. Sometimes orders get delayed or mixed up. Sometimes delivery is difficult. When this happens, we do feel bad and do our best to find a solution that works for the client.

But this we felt was unfair, although interesting. It won’t kill the business, but it remains unpleasant!

So, I tried getting to the bottom of this.

First, damage control. We flagged the reviews for Facebook, whose position was basically:
– “People write what they want”.
– “But these reviews are obivously fake, you guys are supposed to be the smartest in the world you should see that”.
– “No, sorry, people write what they want”.

We thought about bringing up the issue of the whole Russian-Facebook election rigging thing just to vent our anger but we realized they have a monopoly so we can’t  win. Damn.

Alright, we’ll take matters into our own hands then. I put on my Holmes hat. My dear Watson, we’ll get to the bottom of this. My genius idea was to try and compare the friends’ list of all the posters to find the one friend they all had in common. That should give us our prime suspect, right ?

My dear Watson, we got nowhere. A few of the profiles did make their list of friends public, so we tried to crosscheck them. A few names showed up in most of them. Aha !

Alas, no one we knew or could trace back to someone we know. Our investigation is at a standstill. We’re running short on clues.

The question remains whole: Who could be behind this malicious slander? A disgruntled competitor? An angry contractor? A disappointed lover?

 

Bastien

onyourwaytobeirut