Are fake reviews unfair? Amazon just launched legal actions against fake review groups on Facebook

by WarriorForum.com Administrator
23 replies
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A new article on Social Media Today reports that while online commerce continues to rise, some of the key challenges in providing transparency, and maintaining consumer trust have become more pressing concerns of late.



With some 93% of consumers utilizing online reviews in their purchase process, the impact of fake reviews has become increasingly significant, which is why the bigger players in the space are now launching legal action to establish new precedent to prosecute fake review sellers.

Meta filed a lawsuit in California over the use of fake reviews on Facebook back in March, and now, Amazon is launching its own legal action, which also targets Facebook, in the form of Facebook groups that organize and solicit fake Amazon product reviews.

Amazon says:

"Amazon today filed legal action against the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups that attempt to orchestrate fake reviews on Amazon in exchange for money or free products. These groups are set up to recruit individuals willing to post incentivized and misleading reviews on Amazon's stores in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan."

Amazon went on to say that these groups are responsible for fake reviews for hundreds of products listed on its platform - from car stereos and camera tripods.

"One of the groups identified in the lawsuit is "Amazon Product Review," which had more than 43,000 members until Meta took down the group earlier this year. Amazon's investigations revealed that the group's administrators attempted to hide their activity and evade Facebook's detection, in part by obfuscating letters from problematic phrases."
Amazon is hoping that this action will help it uncover more of the people that are running these scam review rings, in order to then take more definitive, and punishing, legal action.

"Amazon will use information discovered in this legal action to identify bad actors and remove fake reviews commissioned by these fraudsters that haven't already been detected by Amazon's advanced technology, expert investigators, and continuous monitoring."
This has to be great news, right? But, if you have been affected in the past, what's your impression? Are things getting worse?
#actions #amazon #facebook #fake #groups #launched #legal #review #reviews #unfair
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by WarriorForum.com View Post

    This has to be great news, right? But, if you have been affected in the past, what's your impression? Are things getting worse?
    They have been bad for a while now, and especially on the Amazon platform. There is a lot of weight within the Amazon listing algorithm in regards to "Reviews" for a product, and across your listing of products. Fake listings just destroy the algorithm, and its about gosh darn time they do something to fix it.

    What's interesting here, is the "Fix" is outside of... the Amazon platform... they could just mitigate the algorithm percentage of the variable within... the Amazon platform.

    Its not Amazons fault... Its Facebooks. The whole thing is piss poor and political and headed in a direction many wont like in the long run.
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    • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
      Administrator
      Definitely Facebook, and I don't think they're gonna do anything about it

      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      Its not Amazons fault... Its Facebooks. The whole thing is piss poor and political and headed in a direction many wont like in the long run.
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  • Profile picture of the author Artkantos
    Maybe it's just me, but when you have a few years buying in Amazon, you start smelling the fake reviews if you pay enough attention, at least I haven't buy anything with good reviews that disappoints me! But definitely a FB problem, hopefully Amazon can pressure them and solve this plague that are the false reviews
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Artkantos View Post

      But definitely a FB problem, hopefully Amazon can pressure them and solve this plague that are the false reviews
      This is where I might disagree... Controlling speech - good bad or indifferent is just bad. AMAZON should be dealing with this - just like Yelp ( for better or for worse ) is dealing with their issues.

      The bad reviews are NOT on Facebook, they are on Amazon... In the Facebook groups - "Hey, go buy this and Ill refund you once you leave a review" isnt so much "FAKE" as it might sound... BUT, they are paying for good reviews.

      Keep in mind, you have to have bought the product in order to leave a review.

      In my own personal experience, most of this coming for the most populated nation in the world.

      It just doesnt take much of a rocket scientist to understand that in order to get good ranking within Amazon Serps.. you A) have to have a better than decent click rate, B) a more than better than decent conversion rate, and C) a fairly high percentage of reviews.

      If "C)" is a problem then maybe the should give it less weight - and stop the abuse of boosting your listing by taking advantage of the system... Its the System that is flawed - Amazon's system.

      Start a conversation with Black Hat SEO... this is basically just that, Black Hat Amazon SEO. Sooner or later with Google the cheaters get the rug pulled out from underneath them... on Amazon? they have been at it for years.. and it appears as if it will occur for years to come, because AMAZON wont do anything about it.

      Sueing Group admins? thats a flex at best - at best... and F A R from a solution.
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      • Profile picture of the author Artkantos
        Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

        This is where I might disagree... Controlling speech - good bad or indifferent is just bad. AMAZON should be dealing with this - just like Yelp ( for better or for worse ) is dealing with their issues.

        ...

        Sueing Group admins? thats a flex at best - at best... and F A R from a solution.
        I hadn't thought of it that way, but I totally agree with these statements.... It's maybe my bias, Facebook is always wrong haha but that's not a good way of thinking, even if someone you hate tells the truth it's still the truth! Otherwise you become a bigot and we already have enough of those with all of their associated problems.
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  • Profile picture of the author Haroon Ballim
    Amazon is not blame free in this whole fake review issue . Not sure if it still exists but Amazon had a list of Amazon approved reviewers . Their contact details were listed on Amazon . Many of these reviewers made a living from the free stuff they got to post reviews .
    Some promptly resold these items on Ebay , and other platforms . these reviewers could hardly be called objective as the more five star reviews they gave the more sellers sought them out .
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    wired.com had an article recently about fake amazon reviews and had some pretty good advice....for example, they gave a list of what to 'look for' to identify fake reviews....


    • A very high percentage of five-star reviews
    • Lack of detail in reviews and vague praise
    • Generic review titles like "Nice product" or simply "Awesome"
    • Mentions of competing products
    • Wording similar to other reviews
    • Poor grammar and spelling mistakes
    • Multiple reviews on specific dates (especially if there are long gaps between them)
    • "Customers also bought" section contains unrelated products
    • Glowing reviews with one small negative that isn't a deal breaker
    • Explaining away cons

    It's a good list and covers most obviously fake reviews I've noted...the last one is common in fakes.... the 'poor grammar' I would describe as 'poor English language skills' which is seen in quite a few of the fake reviews.


    For the most part - it's not hard to spot the fakes. The generic compliments and the lack of detail is usually enough. I know Amazon tries to identify users who 'bought' the product...perhaps there should be no refunds after you submit a review?


    In any large group of people you will find those who are exaggerating, lying about their experiences, spinning tales to get attention.....why would anyone be surprised to see that same behavior in reviews?
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    • Profile picture of the author MM03
      A very high percentage of five-star reviews is certainly NOT the proof of fake reviews per se. It's only the case once combined with the rest (gibberish, pidgin, vague comments). I know quite a few excellent products that get hundreds of genuine 5-stars comments simply because the customers are satisfied.
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      • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
        Administrator
        Obviously not all five-star reviews are fake

        Originally Posted by MM03 View Post

        A very high percentage of five-star reviews is certainly NOT the proof of fake reviews per se. It's only the case once combined with the rest (gibberish, pidgin, vague comments). I know quite a few excellent products that get hundreds of genuine 5-stars comments simply because the customers are satisfied.
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  • Profile picture of the author Active Noon
    yes fake reviews are not good that type of reviews mislead to everyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamell
    This is a step in the right direction .Giving fake reviews whether they are negative or positive is an act of dishonesty and can persuade people .

    To me fake reviews is a form of manipulation.
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    • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
      Administrator
      Ikr.

      Though a lot of businesses still get away with it

      Originally Posted by Jamell View Post

      This is a step in the right direction .Giving fake reviews whether they are negative or positive is an act of dishonesty and can persuade people .

      To me fake reviews is a form of manipulation.
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      • Profile picture of the author Haroon Ballim
        Some of the reviews on Amazon are so long and detailed that one has to wonder which buyer would spend so much time on a review in which he has no vested interest . Not to say that short reviews are all genuine , but those long , detailed reviews just makes one wonder about authenticity .
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    those long , detailed reviews

    Especially the ones that seem to 'hit' all the high points of the sales copy....
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  • Profile picture of the author MM03
    I've even seen private groups on FB that were aimed at negative SEO and responsible for a lot of fake negative reviews posted against the competition. This is more than unfair: it's vicious and should be eradicated. But I don't think Amazon will ever do anything against it. I reported one of those groups, once: they just didn't care.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChristopherAndreas
    Banned
    I think that not all reviews are fake. But some professional SMM-managers can write fake reviews for any product. You should pay attention to that!
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  • Profile picture of the author Wealthkey
    I personally do not think it's unfair. For someone to give a review. "Fake" they actually are given something. If that's money or a different product. Just because they haven't had thy exact product they are giving a review on doesn't necessarily mean it's unfair. Now making a fake account as a company and giving that review doesn't mean it's fake either... just a different point of view. The people from the company writing these reviews knows the products.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      So, let me run a scenario by you:
      You own Store A. You get 4 5-star reviews and 1 4-star reviews.


      Than Store B opens. Within 2 months, they get 314 5-star reviews and 12 4-star reviews.


      And they pay someone to write you 148 1 and 2-star reviews.


      So, now, your average rating is 1.37 stars and theirs is 4.963.


      And, more importantly, you go from making $22,000 gross a month to making $8,000 gross a month.


      Is it fair that you lose $14,000 a month because the other guy paid for some fake reviews?



      Originally Posted by Wealthkey View Post

      I personally do not think it's unfair. For someone to give a review. "Fake" they actually are given something. If that's money or a different product. Just because they haven't had thy exact product they are giving a review on doesn't necessarily mean it's unfair. Now making a fake account as a company and giving that review doesn't mean it's fake either... just a different point of view. The people from the company writing these reviews knows the products.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    The people from the company writing these reviews knows the products.

    No - the people PAID to write reviews are paid to write GOOD reviews. If you have not purchased or USED a product - how are you qualified to recommend it to others?
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  • Profile picture of the author BlackGoat
    To be honest nowadays it's very common even legit businesses get tons of fake reviews.
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    • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
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      Just because it's common doesn't mean it's ok

      Originally Posted by BlackGoat View Post

      To be honest nowadays it's very common even legit businesses get tons of fake reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    good luck to Amazon with that. It is almost impossible to stop it. Sellers are going to that extreme not because they like to give free products but because simply new sellers can't compete. Instead of going after Facebook groups, maybe they should have a better process to analyze the reviews on their platforms. Most people can tell fake reviews when they read one.
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    • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
      Administrator
      No. People these days are more likely to fall for fakes

      Originally Posted by onegoodman View Post

      Most people can tell fake reviews when they read one.
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