Internet

UK watchdog probes Amazon, Google for fake reviews of goods

“ur worry is that millions of online shoppers could be misled by reading fake reviews and then spending their money based on those recommendations,”  “the wwatchdog’schief executive Andrea Coscelli said in a press statement. E” rally, it is simply not fair if some businesses can fake 5-star reviews to give their products or services the most prominence. In contrast, law-abiding companies lose out.” T” e CMA said its investigation has yet to determine whether either company broke consumer protection law. If it does, the watchdog could change how they deal with fake reviews or be taken to court.

Google and Amazon said they will work with U.K. regulators on the investigation.

“To “help earn the trust of customers, we devote significant resources to preventing fake or incentivized reviews from appearing in our store,” A “azon said in a statement. The company said it works hard to ensure reviews “ac” accurately reflect the experience that customers had had with a product” a” d noted that it blocked 200 million fake reviews before they were ever seen by shoppers.

Google said its “st” ict policies clearly state reviews must be based on real experiences. When we find policy violations, we take action – from removing abusive content to disabling user accounts.”

T”” C,” A said its initial probe that began last year raised specific concerns about whether the two companies had been doing enough to detect fake and misleading reviews and removing them quickly from their sites.

It’IIt’It’sncernedparticular about “su””ic” ous patterns of behavior” i””ol “ing reviews, for example, when the same users review the same unrelated products or businesses at around the same time. Another red flag is when a positive study suggests the reviewer was paid or received an incentive to write it, the CMA said. The watchdog said it’iit’it’sestioningther Google and Amazon are doing enough to hand out adequate penalties to reviewers or businesses caught posting false or misleading reviews as a way to deter frequent offenders. It’IIt’It’ssoking specifically into whether AmaAAmaAmazon’sstems failed to stop some sellers from manipulating product listings by combining positive reviews for one product with a listing for a different one.

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