Amazon is suing 10,000 Facebook groups that promote fake reviews

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One of the groups called Amazon Product Review had over 43,000 members before it was shut down by Meta earlier this year.

Amazon has filed a lawsuit against the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups that promote writing fake product reviews on the e-commerce site in exchange for money or free products.

These groups aim to incentivize and recruit ordinary people to write positive reviews about certain products available in Amazon stores in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan.

Filed in court near Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle today (July 19), the lawsuit will be used to help the company identify the culprits and crack down on fake reviews commissioned by them.

Amazon said the information emerging from the lawsuit will complement the advanced technology, expert investigators and ongoing monitoring the online seller already uses to minimize fake reviews.

“Our teams stop millions of suspicious reviews before they are ever seen by customers, and this lawsuit goes one step further to uncover perpetrators operating on social media,” said Dharmesh Mehta, vice president of services. sales to Amazon partners.

“Proactive legal action targeting bad actors is one of the many ways we protect customers by holding bad actors accountable.”

Amazon against fake reviews

Amazon has been pursuing groups promoting fake reviews since 2015, when it first targeted websites selling four- and five-star reviews for cash.

Since 2020, it has reported more than 10,000 fake review groups to Meta, Facebook’s parent company. About half of them were arrested for violating the policy.

One of the groups targeted in the lawsuit, called Amazon Product Review, had 43,000 members before Meta shut it down earlier this year. It was able to avoid detection by Facebook’s breaching mechanisms by hiding key phrases that attract attention.

In addition to raising consumer protection concerns, fake product reviews can also diminish the credibility of the sellers who host them. Amazon has a dedicated team to identify fake review programs on social media sites and report them to businesses.

But the trend is also attracting the attention of the government. New proposals currently under consideration in the UK will make it illegal to pay someone to write or host fake reviews, according to BBC News.

Last year, the country’s competition regulator questioned Amazon and Google whether they were taking enough action against fake online reviews and whether inaction violated consumer protection laws.

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