Amazon Pinpoints Social Media Companies as Spreaders of 'Fake Reviews' | Underground Fake Review Industry
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Amazon is pointing fingers towards social media companies as the spreaders of "fake reviews" where bad actors both buy and sell fake product reviews. This makes it a lot harder for the internet retail to really tackle and fix the issue.

Amazon Fake Reviews

According to Amazon, some actually use social media services on their own. In other cases, however, they would actually hire third-party service providers in order to perpetrate this type of activity on their behalf. 

It was also noted that some bad actors have been able to regularly try to take this particular transaction outside Amazon to obscure the company's ability to detect their activity. This also obscures the relationship between a number of accounts all committing or even benefiting from this particular form of abuse.

Amazon Puts Importance to Reviews

Customer reviews have been very important for Amazon's business throughout over 20 years, with the written reviews as well as the five-star rating systems, buyers and sellers get a helpful form of accountability as well as a sign of popularity and the quality of the product. Amazon, however, has found out that paid reviews are now artificially inflating product rankings while also misleading customers. This led to the retailer banning them from the official site back in 2016.

Amazon went public and stated that social media companies should excerpt more effort to rein in the problem. The company says that it regularly reports instances of fraud to different social media sites and that a number of them have improved their response times. 

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Amazon Wants Social Media Companies to be More Proactive

According to CNet, Amazon, however, wants social media companies to become more proactive when it comes to this particular issue. The goal is for them to be able to identify and delete fraudulent reviews even without having to first be informed by Amazon.

During the first three quarters of 2020, Amazon noted that it had identified over 300 groups all suspected of practicing fraudulent behavior to social media companies. This situation took a 45-day median time before cutting off the groups' access to the particular service. 

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Amazon Reported Over 1,000 Groups in 2021

During the first three months of 2021, however, Amazon was able to report over 1,000 groups to different social media services. This all took a median time of just five days for the groups to be shut down.

Amazon noted in the blog post that while they really appreciate that social media companies have become increasingly faster at responding, in order to fix the problem at the current scale, it is important for social media companies to invest quite adequately in proactive controls to be able to detect and even enforce fake reviews way ahead of reporting the issue to them.

Amazon, however, didn't pinpoint which social media companies are involved. A 2018 investigation by The Washington Post, however, found that a lot of these fake reviews technically originated from Facebook.

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Written by Urian B.

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