How to spot a fake review

  • RealSelfUser000
  • New York, NY
  • 1 year ago

Okay....it's time to "out" these dr.s posting fake reviews. let's come up with a list of things that raise a big red flag so newbies can know if a review is fake. here are some to start off the list 1. vivid description of the office and/or waiting room. statements like "There was a gorgeous Art Deco Coffee Table book right where the sign-in sheet is and an authentic Keith Haring painting on the wall" or "The wait was brief and they had my favorite magazine there"  Not kidding, i have actually seen statements like these in reviews. 2. description of anything waking up immediately after the surgery, or statements about how nice the anesthesiologist is.  Clearly a fake review written by someone who never had any sort of surgery!!!!  Do YOU remember anything about your anesthesiologist??!?!  No? Well that's because you were KNOCKED out from anesthesia!!!! ;)  I don't remember jack Sh***!  If you told me I rode home on a unicorn after surgery I wouldn't be able to dispute it because i have no idea what happened that day! 3.  Enthusiastic raving about the school/program/fellowship your surgeon did.  That's something the surgeon would rave about!!!! 4. how confident and happy you are, all the time. That's bull! Patients get depressed and anxious, even with good results.  We aren't always balls of sunshine, and a review that describes things that way is probably written by a public relations firm.  5. any review that says "I'm so confident now that..." and ends in "i just got engaged!" 6. lots of technical jargon that the average patient doesn't understand   add to the list!

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There are almost certainly some fake reviews on this website, but just because someone had a different experience than you doesn't mean that they are lying or that their review is fake. My anesthesiologist WAS nice and professional. He met with me prior to surgery to discuss my medical history, current medications and previous reactions to anesthesia. In my experience, that is the normal procedure. I DID wake up immediately after surgery and I DO remember myconversations with the surgical center staff when I first awoke, as well as the entire rest of my day. Modern anesthesia shouldn't cause lack of consciousness/amnesia for the entire day.
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Everything you said is really from accurate. I had a rhinoplasty last year. It DID change my life because I AM more confident (I wish I could say I got engaged from it lol) I DO love my results, the anesthesiologist WAS so warm and loving and just fantastic, and I NEVER got depressed or down, everyday was like Christmas morning seeing the progress (that sounds lame but the process was exhilarating and fascinating to me).The stuff you mention in your number one I have never seen but I can imagine how those kinds of things can stick out to you, especially if you met with several doctors. I know what you mean though, its hard to tell the real from the fake and its a shame because I am a big reviewer, on both ends and would be the first to tell of a bad experience. Good luck everyone!
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I meant: Everything you said is really *far* from accurate....
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Agreed! Not an accurate list.
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I think there are fake positive and negative reviews and sometimes they aren't easy to spot. I tend to agree that if someone isn't actively engaging in the community by posting or answering questions then it's another red flag. What interests me though aren't the blatantly fake reviews, it's the concept of objectivity when judging plastic surgery results. I've seen reviews on here that lavish doctors with praise and rave reviews based on results (via pictures) I would consider very unfortunate. I've also seen reviews that rip doctors apart based on results that I would consider quite satisfactory. In other words, the psychology of the patient can be a huge factor. I've read posts where people freak out because there is one tiny wrinkle or scar and go on to trash the doctor while ignoring the massive improvement in their overall appearance. Then there are people who want a good outcome so badly they will convince themselves a result is great...even when it's not. I've been in a bunch of arguments on here with various people challenging the authenticity of my review because it happens to be a good review and it's frustrating. Sometimes the people who question the positive reviews seem really pissed off if you don't agree with them about a certain doctor and can get extremely personal.
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So true! I'd be very upset with some results that people love, and I am sure I can find someone who wouldn't be so crazy about mine. It's so important to find a doctor who shares your aesthetic taste
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Ur nose looks awesome in your icon btw!
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thank you! Your thighs look great. I wish mine looked like yours. ha!
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Thanks :) well now you know my secret workout! :)
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Actually even though my surgery ended up with crap results, my anesthesiologist really ead great and if I hadn't been so distracted detailing my horrible result, I would have mentioned it. Jcathope below has stated something that happened to me on another site, my review was attacked by someone who I guess waited 3 whole years to positively review the doctor, only in the comment section of my review, bashing me. Another personal sign for me is people signing up, writing a little paragraph and then they disappear. Also, read positive reviews carefully... a "Top Rated" surgeon in SF I am looking into has a 5 star review on here.... and the person didn't even have surgery yet! Yet rated the aftercare and all of that as 5 stars? That review should be pulled, in my opinion. You can just spot fakes when they all sound the same. Even before surgery I had quite a bit of activity on here. If the user has no posts or input or questions before their alleged surgery date, I act like I never read it. I am sure there are fake bad reviewd as well but you can see mine as well as many others, go into great detail about our anguish. A lot of us don't publicly post pics because it is so painful. But fake bad reviews at least mqke people think twice, though it is unfair to tarnish a reputation. But I'm a patient and so the fake positives have far more potential to destroy my outcome and life.
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And I really believe positive reviews from people who don't participate to the community or respond to any comments at all, should be deleted or at least their star rating shouldn't count. I also want to know what is done in regards to making sure reviews are real on the management end of the sight... I hear that they do certain things to make sure, but just wondering what that would be. I don't see how I couldn't successfully post fake good reviews right now if I wanted. I am wondering what qualifies a fake good review to be removed? I just wish more was done about it.
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*site... ugh, touchscreens!
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Can you please send me a link to the 5-star pre-op review via private message? You're right that the rating shouldn't be there so we'll clear it out.

We verify reviews through both automated (software) verification and manual (human) moderation. Just like Coca-Cola has a secret recipe, ;) we don't share the specifics of our process because this could lead to people trying to game the system. But rest assured, we don't like fake reviews either and we do our utmost to make sure they don't get through our safety nets!

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I sure will, Sharon... thanks! And yes I would not expect you to reveal the behind the scenes magic ;) Glad you did clarify a bit more though because I know people can make it out as if this site favors/promotes the professionals.
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I'd have to agree...I also think there's no way any of the reviews with "spent $1" are real. They're obviously done by the Dr or Dr's PR people. Why they wouldn't want the price paid to be public information is beyond me. Mostly I look at that to decide whether it makes sense to book a consultation. If I'm not willing to pay $15K for surgery, I'd rather not waste a Doctor's time. To me, it makes it seem as though the Doctor is so money hungry, they don't care whether you book with them in the long run, as long as they take your consultation fee, they're happy...
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There is one doctor who has hundreds of reviews written in the same broken English...I can even determine the nationality of the writer by the syntax and grammatical mistakes. Unless his patients are all coming from the same country, it's hard to believe they're not written by the doctor himself
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Hey there,

It's against our community guidelines for someone to rate a procedure they haven't had, so if you could inbox me the link to that review I'd really appreciate it!

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Sharon actually went ahead and took care of it. Thanks, Angie!
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Does anyone think that some of the bad reviews are faked? Some of them sound to go above and beyond, even if they only had a consultation with a doctor... It seems like every doctor has good reviews (faked or real) and bad reviews...this is what makes me leery about taking them too seriously. I find the RealSelf stories to be much more helpful, since you can follow from the consultation process, picking a doctor, surgery recovery and then final product with pictures. But for me, the doctors that I'm considering don't have any patients sharing stories. Finding the right doc is tough....
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Yes there are def bad fake reviews too. I'd be especially skeptical of the ones that sound like they are from personal enemies, calling doctors a crackhead etc
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I had the same problem--the ones I was interested in did not have any patients talkin'...one reason was that one doctor mostly had facelift patient who are older and don't do the whole online thing! U just have to meet them all to find out
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Another red flag is if you find there is a person who ceaselessly promotes/defends a surgeon - even going so far as posting on another persons review where they had extremely terrible out comes. Think about it, what does someone have to gain by keeping tabs on a surgeons negative reviews and then going and defending that surgeon over and over on another persons thread? It seems suspicious and it is.
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Another thing to keep in mind, there is a difference between a negative review where it says hey - I didn't like my experience and my results weren't great, and a "warning" review where the person's face/life has been destroyed and they have nerve damage, wasting and paralysis. If a surgeon has a warning review posted - some on here have more than one - you should take that seriously. There are risks with these surgeries for sure, but usually an ethical doctor when confronted with these horrific damages will take some steps to help the person or reimburse them to some extent. But if a doctor simply ignores and/or denies what has happened - you should take that as a warning indeed.
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This is pretty scary
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