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Researchers developing software to finger phony reviews

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Opinion spam isn't a new version of your favorite meat treat, repackaged for discerning canned ham consumers. According to a team of researchers at Cornell University, it's a growing problem affecting user generated review sites, and the gang is working to stop it dead in its tracks with a new program that's aimed at tracking down fake reviews. That software, which has been tested on reviews of Chicago hotels, uses keyword analysis and word combination patterns to bust opinion spammers -- fakers, for example, use more verbs than their truth-telling counterparts. The as of yet unnamed program apparently has the ability to post deceptive opinions with 90 percent accuracy, but is currently only trained on hospitality in the Windy City. Ultimately, the group sees the software as a filter for sites like Amazon, but, for now, you'll just have to trust the old noggin to do the detecting for you.

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