Photo: Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

Amazon Sues Facebook Group Administrators For Fake Product Reviews

Amazon is suing the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups for allegedly coordinating fake reviews of Amazon products, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The lawsuit was filed in Washington state’s King County Superior Court.

Amazon said the administrators of the Facebook groups solicited reviews for items such as camera tripods and car stereos in exchange for free products or money. The fake reviews are used to increase product ratings so customers are more likely to buy them.

Amazon Vice President Dharmesh Mehta called the lawsuit “proactive legal action targeting bad actors”.

Fake reviews and review manipulation continue to be a major issue for Facebook and Amazon.

Last year, the U.K.’s antitrust regulator launched an investigation into whether Amazon and Alphabet (Google) are doing enough to tackle fake reviews. US lawmakers have questioned Amazon’s efforts against fake reviews in a letter to Jeff Bezos in 2019. Also in 2019, the US Federal Trade Commission fined a third party website for the first time for fake paid reviews.

One of the Facebook groups, called “Amazon Product Review,” had more than 43,000 members and was able to avoid detection by changing letters in phrases that flag it to Facebook. Facebook removed the group this year.

Facebook commented on the Amazon lawsuit, saying “Groups that solicit or encourage fake reviews violate our policies and are removed,” and it was “working with Amazon on this matter and will continue to partner across the industry to address spam and fake reviews.”

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