Since its emergence, fake news has shown the world that it can take many threatening forms. Aside from fake reviews, one of the most damaging examples of fake news is the unmoderated comments found in blogs, communities, and forums.
If they are not carefully vetted by an administrator, unmoderated, improperly moderated, and fake comments – like fake news – can convey an incorrect and harmful message to audience members. This is especially true in instances where the reader is seeking information on which to base an important decision, like choosing investments.
Example of Improperly Moderated or Fake Comments
In this example of an improperly moderated comment, a participant named “Matt” claims to be unhappy with the returns he has been earning with a company named Davenport Laroche.
Wondering why Davenport Laroche had not taken the time to respond to Matt’s complaint, we brought it to the attention of the company. To our surprise, they were already aware of the comment. According to the representative we spoke to, the company has made several attempts to retort, but were being prevented from doing so by the post’s moderator. In the spirit of fairness, we thought we would give Davenport Laroche an opportunity to respond to this improperly moderated comment.
Davenport Laroche Response
We have reviewed our database and identified the owner of this post. The poster has been a client since 2015 and made an annual return of 20.19%. In 2016, he made an average of 19.28%, which I daresay is his best investment.
He states after 12 months he received “absolute zilch”, “nothing at all now for the last 2 months”. This is untrue. His returns have decreased because markets fluctuate, as is clearly stated in Article 5.5 of the contract. He signed it and even if he has read it, he doesn’t understand it.
Every business has good months and not so good months, and to assume that returns will always be high denotes either a lack of commercial experience or naivety. Declaring a company is “a scam” because returns are not to his liking is defamatory. The profile of his account is normal and healthy (we consider an average annual return of 19.28% to be healthy). The contract states clearly that markets fluctuate and most people know that. Clearly the poster is the exception that confirms the rule.
The poster also states untruthfully we have not replied to his emails. My colleague Theo Chamberlain emailed in on the 2nd and 6th of September 2016 to which he did not have the courtesy to reply. He goes on to reveal his credentials as a naysayer by the comment “…and maybe try to even contact them by phone (which I am sure will lead absolutely nowhere).” All he or anyone else has to do is dial our switchboard from 10.00 AM Hong Kong time.
Given the average returns of 19.28% that he himself confirmed he has received I feel his comments are ill considered and frankly “a bit much”.
A comment section of a blog, for example, is very important. It shows that the community is composed of people who think, and are thoughtful. Moderated comment sections are intended to build community and lend deeper insight to the conversation. Although it is not uncommon to see people challenge the beliefs/ideas of the writer and other commentators, moderators have the responsibility to ensure they are not contributing to a fake review and/or fake news.