The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have looked into the problem of paid fake reviews and taken action.
Everyone involved with product and service reviews has known for a long time that there are Facebook groups where you can hire people to create positive or negative reviews, about your business or your competitors in business. A Daily Mail article suggested the cost is about £13 per fake review.
There are billions of pounds of spending each year potentially affected by online reviews, so this is big business and the fake reviews can make a big difference to some businesses.
Facebook and eBay are taking steps to crack down on these fake and misleading product reviews, following an advisory notice from the CMA. Both companies have signed agreements to better identify, investigate and respond to fake reviews.
Facebook has since removed 188 groups and disabled 24 user accounts and eBay banned 140 users.
Facebook has agreed to tighten up its procedures for identifying the fake reviews and the groups where people conduct such business and to introduce better systems to detect and remove fraudulent content.
EBay has improved its detection methods to better identify and block listings for the sale or trade of online reviews.
In the USA, the Federal Trade Commission has also been cracking down on fake reviews appearing on Amazon.
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