Amazon asks social media companies to help it root out fake reviews

An supply driver carries bins right into a van outdoors of a distribution facility on February 2, 2021 in Hawthorne, California.

Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

Amazon is interesting to social media companies to help curb the unfold of fake reviews on its web site.

In a blog post Wednesday, Amazon stated unhealthy actors are more and more turning to outdoors social media platforms to purchase and promote fake product reviews, which has made it tougher for the corporate to put an finish to the problem.

“Some use social media services on their own; in other cases, they hire a third-party service provider to perpetrate this activity on their behalf,” Amazon wrote within the weblog publish. “However, bad actors regularly try to take this transaction outside Amazon to obscure our ability to detect their activity and the relationship between the multiple accounts committing or benefiting from this abuse.”

Amazon blamed social media companies for being too sluggish to act when it flags fake assessment exercise on their platforms, whereas noting there was some enchancment in response instances.

In the primary three months of final yr, Amazon stated, it flagged greater than 300 teams to social media companies, who “took a median time of 45 days” to shut them down. By distinction, over the identical time interval this yr, Amazon reported over 1,000 teams to social media providers, which took a median time of 5 days to take away the teams.

“While we appreciate that some social media companies have become much faster at responding, to address this problem at scale, it is imperative for social media companies to invest adequately in proactive controls to detect and enforce fake reviews ahead of our reporting the issue to them,” Amazon stated.

While Amazon did not name out any social media platforms by identify, it’s doubtless that the corporate was referring to the presence of fake assessment teams on Facebook. A 2018 investigation by U.Okay. client watchdog group Which discovered a number of “reviews for rewards” teams on Facebook, probably comprising tens of hundreds of members, that oversee fake assessment schemes the place customers are requested to buy a product and go away a glowing assessment so as to obtain a refund by way of PayPal.

Regulators have begun paying consideration to the fake assessment schemes on Facebook. Last yr, the U.Okay.’s Competition and Markets Authority said Facebook pledged to higher determine, examine and take away fake assessment teams. A follow-up investigation by the CMA resulted in Facebook eradicating one other 16,000 teams that had been “dealing in fake and misleading reviews,” in accordance to the group.

Representatives from Facebook did not instantly reply to a request for remark. The firm has previously said it prohibits fake reviews and has invested in automated and human assessment groups to detect abuse.

Fake reviews have plagued Amazon for years. The drawback has grow to be extra extreme as Amazon’s on-line market has grown to amass tens of millions of third-party retailers. Fake reviews not solely threaten to harm Amazon’s relationship with buyers, however they will put buyers susceptible to shopping for defective or counterfeit items.

Last yr, Amazon eliminated 20,000 reviews after a Financial Times investigation discovered that prime Amazon reviewers within the U.Okay. had been benefiting from posting fraudulent reviews.

Amazon has stated it invests closely in machine studying instruments and human moderators to root out fake reviews and different fraud. The firm stated final yr it stopped greater than 200 million suspected fake reviews earlier than they had been considered by buyers.