Which? has discovered evidence of Fake review groups operating on Facebook.
The consumer organization claimed that during a cursory inquiry, it discovered more than a dozen organizations swapping positive reviews for gifts or cash.
According to Which?, groups had been exchanging reviews for Trustpilot, Google, and Amazon.
In March and April 2023, Which? conducted an investigation to see whether fake review trading groups still exist on Facebook and which sites they are targeting.
The consumer advocacy group claimed that it discovered Facebook groups trading free goods for favorable Amazon evaluations for the first time in 2018. It estimated that the groups it has alerted Facebook to have at least 1.16 million members in total.
To combat Fake reviews, we urgently need the Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumer Bill, which includes stiff consequences for platforms that breach their legal obligations.
Who is Rocio Concha?
The Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumer Bill, which would crack down on bogus reviews, is anticipated to be published soon by the government. According to Which?, it backs these crucial adjustments.
However, it stated that before new regulations are introduced, online platforms must step up their game when policing activities.
The director of policy and advocacy for Which?, Rocio Concha, stated: “The Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumer Bill – including strong enforcement and tough penalties for platforms that fail in their legal responsibilities – is sorely needed to tackle fake reviews and ensure consumers have protections fit for the digital age.”
“Fraudulent and deceptive activity is not allowed on our platforms, including offering or trading fake reviews,” a representative for Facebook owner Meta told Which?
“We have removed the groups that were shared with us since they broke our rules. We keep investing in new technology and strategies to safeguard our users from this kind of content, even if no enforcement strategy is flawless.
A representative for Amazon stated: “Amazon receives millions of evaluations each week from all around the world, which are examined by our seasoned investigators and advanced, market-leading tools before publication.
“When we find fraudulent reviews, we delete them and pursue necessary legal action, both domestically and internationally, against the perpetrators.
Additionally, we actively track and report Facebook groups that reward reviews, and all of these groups have been taken down.
“By taking action against fraudsters, we are going after the source of the problem and shutting down these fake review businesses,” the representative continued.
According to Google, reviews must be based on actual experiences. When we discover policy violations, we act quickly, taking action that may include content removal, account suspension, and even legal action.
“We catch the vast majority of policy-violating reviews before they’re ever seen, and as bad actors evolve their strategies, we continue to moderate contributions with our newest models even after they’re posted.”
Google claimed that its employees invest in the newest technology, work around the clock, and collaborate with other firms and governmental bodies to discover answers that apply to the entire sector.
According to Trustpilot, “We closely monitor Facebook groups claiming to sell fake reviews on Trustpilot and we take strong and robust action to combat the practice.”
We regularly update and introduce new technology that enables us to recognize and follow intricate behavioral patterns in review data, the statement continued.
Trustpilot asserted that it has “the right combination of people, technology, and our reviewer and business community to help prevent and remove fake reviews”.
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