Amazon is taking legal action against the administrators of over 10,000 Facebook groups over alleged attempts to orchestrate fake reviews on Amazon in exchange for free products or money.
Amazon Suing Social Media Group Admins Over Alleged Fake Reviews
A statement issued by Amazon on how it is targeting review fraudsters on social media, says the groups are set up to recruit individuals willing to post misleading and incentivized reviews on Amazon stores.
According to the statement, groups set up to manage fake reviews are present in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Japan.
Amazon Constantly Monitors Reviews
The online retail giant constantly monitors reviews and says it will use information identified in the legal action to remove fake reviews that have been commissioned by fraudsters who have not already been detected by its advanced technology and expert investigators.
The rise in online shopping means that consumers no longer just rely on word-of-mouth recommendations. Instead, shoppers use online reviews to gain valuable information about a product that will help them make purchasing decisions.
For businesses selling on the likes of Amazon, it is important that reviews posted about products are honest and trustworthy. Fake reviews could mean they lose out on sales to competitors unfairly. Negative dishonest reviews can also damage a seller’s reputation, potentially proving detrimental a small business.
Weeding Out Review Fraudsters
Referring to the importance of the lawsuit in weeding out the perpetrators of fake reviews, Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of Selling Partner Services, said: “Our teams stop millions of suspicious reviews before they’re ever seen by customers, and this lawsuit goes a step further to uncover perpetrators operating on social media.
“Proactive legal action targeting bad actors is one of many ways we protect customers by holding bad actors accountable.”
One of the groups behind the fake reviews and identified in the lawsuit is known as ‘Amazon Product Review.’ The group had over 43,000 members until Meta took it down earlier in 2022.
Amazon Prohibits Fake Reviews
Amazon strictly prohibits fake reviews. The retailer employs over 12,000 individuals around the world to help protect Amazon sellers online, including shielding them from fake reviews.
Since 2020, Amazon has reported more than 10,000 fake review groups to Meta. More than half of these groups have been taken down by Meta for policy violations. The company notes how previous legal action it has taken has been effective in the shutting down of major review brokers.
While many small businesses can tend to have a love-hate relationship with reviews, few can deny that reviews need to be honest and trustworthy to work. Amazon’s suing of groups involved in the monetization of fake reviews highlights the importance of review culture in today’s consumer environment, and the value of honest reviews.
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I’m glad they’re addressing the issue because fake reviews are a major issue. Most of the time they’re pretty easy to discern if you read them, but they inflate the overall star rating that many people rely on.
I don’t necessarily think all the reviews are fake. I think the small business Amazon says they care so much about, and people who sell on Amazon are in competition with much greater entities and are really just compensating these buyers with a free product for a review so they CAN compete. So they have a chance. And although some of these people that do this for them sometimes say whatever, for a review, I believe they have a common understanding between them all that in order to do this it’s just as simple as “you just leave honest reviews”