Amazon, the e-commerce giant, has taken legal action against administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups accused of coordinating fake reviews on its platform. The lawsuit, filed on July 19, 2022, targets groups that allegedly brokered fake reviews in exchange for money or free products. These groups operated across Amazon’s online storefronts in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, and Italy.
One such group, called “Amazon Product Review,” had over 43,000 members before being removed by Facebook earlier in 2022. Amazon has reported more than 10,000 fake review groups to Meta, Facebook’s parent company, since 2020. Meta has removed half of these groups and is investigating the others.
Fake reviews have been a persistent issue for Amazon and the e-commerce industry as a whole. Amazon reports flagging about 70% of the reviews posted on its platform, indicating a significant number of potentially fake reviews. Even those marked as “verified purchase” can be faked. This problem has led to regulatory scrutiny, with UK competition regulators launching a probe in 2021 to determine if Amazon and Google were taking adequate actions to protect shoppers from fake reviews.
In February 2023, Amazon filed lawsuits against six defendants in new legal efforts to protect its customers and selling partners by stopping fake review brokers. The company aims to identify bad actors and remove fake reviews commissioned by these fraudsters that haven’t already been detected by Amazon’s advanced technology, expert investigators, and continuous monitoring.
Posting fake reviews is not only illegal but can also lead to lawsuits if they are damaging to competitors. Amazon’s recent legal actions demonstrate its commitment to addressing the issue of fake reviews and protecting both its customers and selling partners from abuse.
Meta is working closely with Amazon and in a statement said “Groups that solicit or encourage fake reviews violate our policies and are removed. We are working with Amazon on this matter and will continue to partner across the industry to address spam and fake reviews.”