In the hunt for fake reviews, Amazon takes legal action

Amazon fights fake reviews. The e-commerce giant announced on July 19, 2022 to launch legal action against the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups who organize the publication of false reviews on the e-commerce site. Amazon says it wants to use the information discovered in this lawsuit to identify bad actors and remove fake reviews.

A group with 43000 members

“These groups are created to recruit people who want to post inciting and misleading reviews on Amazon platforms in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan”, writes the company. These fake reviews are published in exchange for money or free products. One of the groups identified by Amazon on Facebook, “Amazon Product Review”, had 43,000 members. It was shut down by Meta earlier in the year. In total, Amazon claims to have reported more than 10,000 groups of fake reviews to Meta since 2020. The social network has closed more than half of them and is investigating the others.

Amazon has been criticized for some time for letting fake reviews thrive on its platform. In 2020, a New York Times investigation revealed a complex and massive system of fake reviews developed by third-party sellers, mostly based in China, to boost their products on Amazon. The e-commerce giant claims to have implemented technological solutions intended to detect and block false reviews. The company adds that it has a team of 12,000 dedicated to this. Part of the workforce is looking into the fake reviews allowed through social networks like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter. Amazon claims to have stopped more than 200 million fake reviews in 2020.

Regulators and various competent authorities are looking closely at this subject of false reviews. The British competition authority opened an investigation into the fight against false comments on Amazon and Google in June 2021. Today, it plans to strengthen its legislative arsenal to fight against. The European Commission is also looking into this subject and is not ruling out taking action if necessary.

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