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Amazon targets 10,000 Facebook groups posting fake product reviews
The company is taking legal action against the admins of more than 10,000 Facebook groups
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny
⚖️ Amazon is taking legal action against fake product reviewers
😲 Over 10,000 Facebook groups are generating fake reviews
😱 One of the groups had 43,000 members
😤 Positive reviews artificially boost sellers’ visibility in the search engine results
Amazon has filed a lawsuit against admins of more than 10,000 Facebook groups in a bid to combat fake product reviews, which continue to plague the online retailer.
The Facebook groups offer money or free goods for positive reviews on Amazon. The administrators would refund or pay those who purchased the products after submitting their positive reviews. The aim is to boost sellers’ visibility on Amazon’s services and subsequently con users into buying a 5-star rated product.
Amazon says that the Facebook groups are responsible for countless fake user reviews in the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan, spanning a range of products such as camera tripods, Bluetooth headphones, and health supplements.
The bogus review groups were able to bypass Meta’s AI tools by swapping a few letters around in phrases that would typically be dedicated by the safeguards. However, once the Facebook groups were reported by Amazon, Meta took them down.
That isn’t stopping Amazon from taking further action, though. Amazon vice president of selling partner services, Dharmesh Mehta told the BBC that they’re going after the admins of the Facebook groups.
"Pro-active legal action targeting bad actors is one of many ways we protect customers by holding bad actors accountable."
Meta has also weighed in on the legal action, saying:
"Groups that solicit or encourage fake reviews violate our policies and are removed. We are working with Amazon on this matter and will continue to partner across the industry to address spam and fake reviews."
👊 A never-ending battle
Questionable-looking reviews on Amazon are sadly not an uncommon sight. They usually comprise the same copy and pasted text or include a mention that the reviewer received the product for free.
Amazon has been battling fake reviewers for several years, but it’s encouraging to see it’s not giving up. New proposals are being considered in the UK that would make it illegal to pay someone to write or host a fake review, and Amazon has previously taken legal action against four companies it accused of deliberately posting fake reviews earlier this year.
It remains to be seen whether this will stop the problem of fake reviews in the future, but Amazon’s legal action should serve as a reminder to take online recommendations and star ratings with a pinch of salt.
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