Over 10,000 Facebook groups have been identified by Amazon to facilitate fake reviews for products on its platform. These Facebook groups are able to do this by promising money or free products in exchange for positive reviews. Amazon has identified these groups and is headband on cracking down on the admins of these groups through legal action. The company made the announcement today via a press release. The groups are allegedly said to gather fake reviews across Amazon’s sites in countries like the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan. The company reported that one of such groups on the social platform is called “Amazon Product Review,” and has over 43,000 members.
According to The Verge, Amazon has a well-documented problem with fake reviews, which has grown more pressing as third-party marketplace sellers make up a bigger and bigger proportion of sales on its platform. Incentivized reviews were banned in October 2016, but four years later in 2020, according to an investigation carried out by Financial Times, results showed that at least nine out of the top ten reviewers on its platform in the UK had one form of suspicious or the other. The Verge’s investigation in 2020 revealed some of the tactics used by these Facebook groups to facilitate fake reviews across the network.
For years now, the e-commerce giant continue to battle these inauthentic reviews through legal actions directed against the brokers that facilitate them and even the Amazon sellers who make purchases from them. According to Amazon’s press release, the company stated it had over 12,000 employees worldwide tasked to prevent fraud and abuse on its platform. Since 2020, the company revealed that over 10,000 fake review groups have been reported to Facebook’s parent company -Meta.
The company have also resulted in using a combination of “advanced technology, expert investigators, and continuous monitoring” to spot fake reviews and crack down on their perpetrators. In the past years, hundreds of sellers had been kicked off its platform for violating some of its policies. Amazon has proactively stopped over 200 million suspected fake reviews in 2020. Amazon’s vice president of Selling Partner Services Dharmesh Mehta says, “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.” Mehta added that “Proactive legal action targeting bad actors is one of many ways we protect customers by holding bad actors accountable.”
Social media company Meta has also hinted how it’s shoring up its policies in a bid to curb these fake reviews. “Groups that solicit or encourage fake reviews violate our policies and are removed,” Facebook spokesperson Dani Lever said in a statement. “We are working with Amazon on this matter and will continue to partner across the industry to address spam and fake reviews.” The UK competition regulator is also aware of the situation and is examining the problem for possible solutions. Amazon has called for greater collaboration between organizations serving in the public and private sectors to address the issue of fake reviews and use various means to crack down on their perpetrators.