10,000 Facebook group administrators are being sued by Amazon for posting fictitious and false reviews.
Amazon is launching an offensive against the administrators of what it claims are over 10,000 Facebook groups that are used to monitor and encourage people to publish phony and misleading reviews for many of its items after becoming inundated with them. For years, fake reviews have been an issue for Amazon and have the potential to influence customers to purchase inferior or dubious goods. But after the pandemic, when e-commerce demand skyrocketed and dishonest retailers discovered fresh ways to boost their sales using phony evaluations, the problem became much worse. Because of the trend, UK regulators have started an inquiry into whether Amazon and Google have harmed customers by failing to adequately shield them from fraudulent reviews. Google and Amazon both stated last year that they would assist with the investigation.
In a statement published on its website on Tuesday, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant claimed that Facebook groups had been created to enlist people “ready to submit incentivized and inaccurate evaluations” across its stores in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan. The lawsuit goes a step further to identify offenders active on social media, according to Dharmesh Mehta, vice president of selling partner services at Amazon, who claimed that their staff stops millions of dubious reviews before they are ever seen by buyers. The lawsuits seek to dismantle two significant fake review brokers, AppSally and Rebates, who assisted in misleading consumers by encouraging their users to attempt to write false reviews on websites like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Etsy, according to the Tuesday release. One of the numerous ways they protect consumers by holding bad actors accountable is by taking proactive legal action against them. The decision was made as the problem of false reviews grew. Fake reviews artificially raise a product’s star rating (or decrease a rival’s rating) to increase its appeal to casual shoppers. This can cause individuals to purchase inferior goods or just plain junk. Because of how prevalent the issue has grown, a cottage industry has emerged that analyses product reviews and screens out those that might be fake. Customers may see, for example, that a product with a 4.4 rating on Amazon would probably only have a 1.9 rating if it weren’t falsely inflated, thanks to websites like ReviewMeta. Amazon claims that the administrators of the Facebook groups encouraged members to post fictitious evaluations in exchange for free goods or cash. “Amazon Product Review” is one of the groups mentioned in the lawsuit; according to Amazon, the group had more than 43,000 members before Meta removed it earlier this year. The names of the people Amazon is pursuing or the names of other Facebook groups were not made public. The action follows an investigation last year into whether Google and Amazon had taken sufficient steps to weed out fake reviews by a U.K. antitrust regulator. In 2019, U.S. lawmakers posed a comparable query. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) levied a fine against a website that hired an agent to post reviews on Amazon during the same year. According to Amazon, more than 12,000 personnel search its website for fraud and abuse (including fake reviews). It claims that in 2020, it actively blocked over 20 million false reviews. Not all of the 10,000 groups listed in the lawsuit are active right now. According to Amazon, they constitute the entire amount reported to Meta since 2020, at least half of which have already been removed. According to the announcement, Amazon is taking legal action as part of its extensive and proactive efforts to guarantee a secure and reliable shopping experience for its consumers and a wide range of chances to establish successful enterprises. In a statement given to CNN Business, Dani Lever, a spokesman for Meta, warned that organizations who solicit or promote fraudulent reviews violate their regulations and are deleted. To combat spam and fraudulent reviews, they are collaborating with Amazon on this issue and will do so going forward.