A couple of months back, I found myself in an argument with some friends. We argued about everything that exists on Google. My friends had opined that Google had the final say to every argument. It’s almost not uncommon to hear people yell “check Google” to end an argument. Almost everyone believes that everything on the internet is a fact. It’s therefore not out of place to see groups which specialise in getting experts to write high-rated reviews for products on amazon. A consumer group, Which? claims that Facebook has failed to shut down these groups on its site.
Which? Says it has discovered several groups on the social network whose specialty is to recruit expert writers to compose fake reviews for a fee or for free products.
Facebook responds that it has shut down every group reported to it and that it is still probing the issue. The social network in June was urged to investigate the sale of fake reviews by these groups on its platform.
The consumer group, Which? Said it joined several Facebook groups for its investigation, in search of results. Within 30 days, the recruiters or administrators of the groups posted over 55,000 requests for writers of highly-rated reviews in exchange for money or free products. It said that Facebook should take more action and be more proactive in fishing out the groups like they did without waiting for the groups to be reported. Otherwise, Facebook is a platform used to promote misleading testimonies about products.
“It is deeply concerning that Facebook continues to leave customers exposed to poor quality or unsafe products boosted by misleading or disingenuous reviews,” the head of products at Which? Said.
A spokesperson from Facebook responded in defence that nine groups out of the 10 reported to it had being shut down while the last one was under a probe.
“We don’t allow people to use Facebook to facilitate or encourage false reviews.”
The call to action by the competition and Markets Authority in in June was directed to eBay, but Which? Said it uncovered an advert placing offering 5-star reviews for sale in one of the groups in the most recent investigation.
George Lusty, a senior director at CMA expressed his displeasure about the reappearance of Facebook groups promoting the sale of fake reviews.
“Facebook must take effective steps to deal with this problem by quickly removing the material and stop it from resurfacing. This is just the start; we will be doing more to tackle fake and misleading online reviews.”
This settles it. Everything on the internet is not exclusively authentic!