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Amazon sues admins of Facebook groups over fake reviews

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Amazon is claiming that individual members of various Facebook groups coordinated and posted misleading reviews in exchange for money or free products.

According to Amazon, the company has filed a lawsuit against the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups that have allegedly posted and coordinated false reviews of various Amazon products.

The admins in charge of these groups have requested reviews for various products ranging from camera tripods to vehicle stereos, offering either money or free products in return.

It is worth noting that this kind of action is against Amazon’s rules and has occurred across multiple Amazon stores in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and Japan. According to Amazon, these fake reviews are often used to boost product ratings in an effort to increase sales.

Dharmesh Mehta, the Vice President of Amazon said in a statement that the lawsuit represents a proactive legal action targeting bad actors.

Bogus reviews have been plaguing the Amazon platform for years now. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of Amazon customers increased significantly, and with that, so did the review manipulation as well as customer dissatisfaction. Last year, the UK antitrust regulator began investigating if Amazon, Alphabet Inc., and Google are doing enough to deal with the false reviews.

One Facebook group called “Amazon Product Review” which numbered more than 43000 members was deleted by Facebook earlier this year. According to Amazon, the group managed to remain undetected due to changing letters in phrases that set off Facebook’s alarms.

Amazon did not reveal the names of the Facebook group administrators nor their locations, however, the company has informed that they filed the lawsuit in Washington state’s King County Superior Court.

A spokesperson for Meta Platforms Inc, a Facebook parent company, informed that groups that solicit or encourage fake reviews violate the company’s policies and are removed. He also said that the company was working with Amazon on this matter and would continue to partner across the industry to address spam and fake reviews.

In a letter to then-CEO Jeff Bezos, U.S. legislators in 2019 questioned Amazon’s attempts to battle fraudulent reviews. During the same year, the Federal Trade Commission also fined a retail website that hired a third party to post Amazon reviews.

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