Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, has bought Firefox add-on Fakespot, a handy site that explains how items you’ve never heard of may have 12,000 ratings with a 4.6-star average, and Mozilla aims to integrate it into Firefox.
Trust, Privacy, and Security
According to Saoud Khalifah, the creator of Firefox add-on Fakespot, on the firm’s website, “We are joining a company that develops one of the most well-known browsers in the world in Firefox with a lineage that dates back to the origins of the Internet.” “In Mozilla, we have found a partner who shares our vision for the future of the internet, where trust, privacy, and security are intertwined and fundamental to our digital experiences.”
Mozilla acquired the article-saving tool Pocket (formerly Read It Later) in February 2017 but had already integrated its extension directly into Firefox. The pocket was a key piece of what Mozilla calls its Context Graph, a kind of human-powered web discovery and understanding system. It’s easy to see Fakespot as part of that.
Mozilla purchases a service that checks reviews and identifies scammers. Firefox add-on Fakespot;
Mozilla also wants to expand its “work around ethical AI and responsible advertising,” according to Steven Teixeira, chief product officer, in a blog post. Teixeira notes that people return fake and juked-up products less often, so “the environment benefits from a reduction in packaging and shipping.” Fakespot will be worked into Firefox “over time,” the post claims.
The Fakespot Chrome, Firefox, iOS, or Android extension modifies the look of product pages on Amazon, eBay, Sephora, Shopify, and other e-commerce websites after installation. In order to detect typical patterns of sponsored, astroturf, or other impostor behavior, Fakespot will examine a product’s reviews and then the history of the reviewers, using AI (as Fakespot told Wirecutter’s Lauren Dragan in 2016).
The reviews are then given a letter grade and an average score that has been “corrected” based on the reviews that were not identified as false. The FAQ part of Fakespot doesn’t go into much detail, stating merely that it utilizes “artificial intelligence that has been trained to pick up on patterns” and refrains from disclosing its techniques to prevent scammers from evading its tools.