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Generating Sentiment-Preserving Fake Online Reviews Using Neural Language Models and Their Human- and Machine-based Detection

lib:300604db1b4e4064 (v1.0.0)

Authors: David Ifeoluwa Adelani,Haotian Mai,Fuming Fang,Huy H. Nguyen,Junichi Yamagishi,Isao Echizen
ArXiv: 1907.09177
Document:  PDF  DOI 
Abstract URL: https://arxiv.org/abs/1907.09177v2

Advanced neural language models (NLMs) are widely used in sequence generation tasks because they are able to produce fluent and meaningful sentences. They can also be used to generate fake reviews, which can then be used to attack online review systems and influence the buying decisions of online shoppers. To perform such attacks, it is necessary for experts to train a tailored LM for a specific topic. In this work, we show that a low-skilled threat model can be built just by combining publicly available LMs and show that the produced fake reviews can fool both humans and machines. In particular, we use the GPT-2 NLM to generate a large number of high-quality reviews based on a review with the desired sentiment and then using a BERT based text classifier (with accuracy of 96%) to filter out reviews with undesired sentiments. Because none of the words in the review are modified, fluent samples like the training data can be generated from the learned distribution. A subjective evaluation with 80 participants demonstrated that this simple method can produce reviews that are as fluent as those written by people. It also showed that the participants tended to distinguish fake reviews randomly. Three countermeasures, Grover, GLTR, and OpenAI GPT-2 detector, were found to be difficult to accurately detect fake review.

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