Amazon sues 10.000 Facebook group admins over fake reviews

Amazon announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against over 10.000 Facebook group admins who leave fake reviews on its marketplace in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Japan, in return for money or free products. 

The company said it would utilize the information obtained through the legal action to improve its technologies that fight against fraudsters and prevent them from leaving fake reviews. 

Our teams stop millions of suspicious reviews before they’re ever seen by customers, and this lawsuit goes a step further to uncover perpetrators operating on social media,” said Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s VP of Selling Partner Services. “Proactive legal action targeting bad actors is one of many ways we protect customers by holding bad actors accountable.’’ 

Amazon shared the name of a specific Facebook Group, Amazon Product Review, which had more than 43.000 members before Meta removed it this year. The company said the group tried to disguise itself by changing letters of words that could be detected by Facebook’s algorithm. 

The company said that it has a team of more than 12.000 employees who investigate and report fraudsters operating on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

According to its statement, the team prevented over 200 million fake reviews in 2020 and reported over 10.000 Facebook groups since then to the parent company Meta, which removed more than half of them for breaking its rules and is still looking into the remaining groups. 

In 2018, Washington Post reported that several product categories on Amazon’s stores, including wireless headphones and speakers, were dominated by fake reviews. 

‘’…the nefarious business of brokering fake reviews remains an industry-wide problem, and civil litigation is only one step’’ added the company. ‘’Permanently ridding fake reviews across retail, travel, and other sectors will require greater public-private partnership, including collaboration between the affected companies, social media sites, and law enforcement, all focused on a goal of greater consumer protection.‘’

Written by Maya Robertson

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