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Amazon Says Social Media Sites Fail To Curb The ‘Cottage Industry’ Of Fake Reviews

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Amazon Says Social Media Sites Fail To Curb The 'Cottage Industry' Of Fake Reviews

(CTN News) – According to Amazon, social media platforms and messaging apps aren’t doing enough to prevent fraudsters from soliciting fake reviews on social media.

Online retailers are plagued with fake reviews, and some analysts believe that one in seven UK reviews are not genuine, with Facebook groups often blamed for the problem.

Over 200 million fake reviews were blocked by Amazon alone last year. Customer trust manager Dharmesh Mehta said consumers are being “deceived about what products they should or shouldn’t purchase” because of this avalanche of misinformation.

“About a decade ago, we began to see an increase in the number of fake review brokers,” explained Mehta, who compared it to a “cottage industry of fraudsters.”.

“On the nefarious side, they tell sellers: ‘I can get you fake reviews’ – but often this is just a marketing service, and small businesses are duped into thinking they’re being helped.

Then they tell a bunch of consumers: “If you give me a five-star review, I’ll give you the product free of charge or a £25 gift card.” On one hand, they are buying a customer’s review, while on the other, they provide marketing or review services to brands and manufacturers.”

According to Which?, the consumer group? Recent research indicates that groups that post fake reviews on Amazon, Google and Trustpilot are still flourishing on Facebook despite multiple interventions by the regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Last year, Amazon took legal action against over 90 brokers who facilitated fake reviews after being accused of not doing enough to address fake reviews in the past. It also sued over 10,000 Facebook group administrators who tried to get reviews in exchange for money or free products from the platform.

According to Meta, the company that owns Facebook, “Fraudulent or deceptive activity on our platforms is not permitted, including trading or offering fake reviews.”.

We continue to invest in new technologies and methods to protect our users from this kind of content, even if there is no perfect enforcement.”

It has stepped up its game, highlighting its use of artificial intelligence to detect fake reviews, as well as its aggressive pursuit of brokers. 94 brokers have already been targeted this year. Nevertheless, it wants other marketplaces to share information and tech companies to police their websites better.

With more than 46 million members and followers, Amazon reported more than 23,000 groups that facilitate fake reviews in 2022.

Mehta said some platforms were not responsive enough, even in obvious cases. “Some of these groups are marketed as ‘fake eBay reviews’ or ‘fake Amazon reviews’,” he said. “Some of them will hide, but most are pretty obvious, so we should be proactive in preventing them.”

Mehta said some sites took “very long to act and were looking for reams of evidence before they took action, whereas “you and I could probably look at this and say: ‘This is obvious.'”

This bill is expected to strengthen the legal powers available to the CMA in this area through the digital markets, competition and consumers act, which is currently going through the UK parliament.

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