Revenge of cecil the lion: Credibility in third-party review sites

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Digital media has seen a proliferation of Third-Party Review Sites (TPRS) that encourage the public to comment and reflect on their interactions and experiences with a retailer, brand, or company. Sites like Yelp build massive audiences based on their credibility as authentic, accurate, external reviewers. This study looks at how the co-opting of TPRS pages by advocates and protesters influences public perceptions of credibility on these sites. Specifically, it explores the public's reaction to Yelp as a digital space of protest after the death of Cecil the Lion at the hands of a Minnesota dentist. Through focus groups, this study identifies that TPRS audiences look for consistency in reviews to determine credibility; the public sees advocacy as harming the credibility of the overall site; current events play a role in the interpretation of TPRS; and the intentions of users is key to building a reputation as credible in digital media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEstablishing and Evaluating Digital Ethos and Online Credibility
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781522510741
ISBN (Print)9781522510727
StatePublished - Nov 9 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)


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