Amazon is suing 1,114 people it believes are posting fake product reviews on its site. The company are working with the website Fiverr.com (a site that allows people to sell their services as payment) to catch customers willing to post positive reviews in exchange for cash.
“While small in number, these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon’s brand.”
Amazon allows non-customers to write reviews on its products. This offers the buyer a wider selection of opinions. They did however, not anticipate over a thousand sellers would be willing to pay for positive reviews.
Similarly, in an effort to keep YouTube “authentic and full of meaningful interactions”, the site began auditing its views in 2014. YouTube warned users who bought “fake views” that their videos could be taken down. But it has been a difficult rule to enforce.
Just as to YouTube set up defences, Amazon hopes to determine whether customer posts are coming from multiple accounts under one IP address. The company will find it increasingly difficult to filter through its millions of reviews but will continue to allow non-customers to write reviews. Buyers are also given a ‘Verified purchase’ tag to show legitimacy.
TNT Business Frances Scott