rating: +96+x
Item#: SCP-5288
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:


Several instances of SCP-5288 captured over a 12-month period from an online retailer.

Special Containment Procedures: Identification of instances of SCP-5288 is relegated to MTF-799 ("Ecommerce"). The taskforce is required to data mine all English-language retail web sites on the internet, and identify potential instances of SCP-5288 with the assistance of machine learning software. Potential instances of SCP-5288 must be deleted immediately, either by triggering hidden scripts in the web site's code written or injected by Foundation agents, contacting Foundation assets placed in the company for that purpose, or in the case of smaller retail web sites, via database infiltration software. In the rare event that this procedure fails, remote operatives may be deployed to locations where the web site in question is hosted in order to connect to the database directly - or, if necessary, destroy the servers and/or facility.

Description: SCP-5288 is an anomalous entity that manifests in the form of unusual online "one star" reviews. These reviews appear on common household items, lawn care, cleaning, automotive products, as well as several other wide-ranging retail products. SCP-5288 only manifests on English-language retail web sites, but has manifested on retail web sites ranging from small, low-quality merchandising sites based in China to some of the largest retail web sites frequented by millions of users, including Amazon, Target, eBay, and Overstock. Instances of SCP-5288 have been detected 4-6 times a week since their first discovery in June of 2012. To date, over 1500 instances of SCP-5288 have been observed.

Each anomalous review, posted by a user whose name will never actually be present in the site's user database, will follow a generally standard format:

  • It will usually begin with the phrase "One Star!" or some misspelling thereof.
  • It will contain a sentence explaining the expected behavior of the item
  • It will be followed by a way the item failed or an unexpected result of its use.

If the review is allowed to persist without deletion, two anomalous effects will begin to occur.

First, after a period of time between 24 and 48 hours, real-world objects matching the description of the item offered for sale will begin to fail in the same manner as described in the review. This effect can impact products anywhere in the world, and will do so at random. The frequency of this effect increases the longer the review is allowed to persist. This effect has only been reported to manifest in items already purchased by the consumer.

Second, the review will spontaneously update within that time, resulting in a similar review which features more typographical errors and use of uppercase, sometimes in random patterns. The "unexpected" effect of the item will also increase in severity, often involving side effects that could cause injury or death to nearby people. Reviews will also begin to reference depression, loneliness, and the deaths of children. If allowed to persist these reviews can become almost incomprehensible. After several iterations, the instance will eventually self-terminate (see Addendum 1).

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