Wait. There are fake product reviews on Amazon?
Say it ain’t so!
The Wall Street Journal (paywall alert) has the details:
One of the Facebook groups, called “Amazon Product Review,” had more than 43,000 members. Facebook removed the group this year, Amazon said, adding that it evaded Facebook’s detection by changing letters in phrases that might set off Facebook’s alarms.
Amazon didn’t disclose the names of the Facebook group administrators or their locations.
The Seattle-based company said it filed the suit in Washington state’s King County Superior Court.
Representatives for Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms Inc., didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
U.S. lawmakers in 2019 questioned Amazon’s efforts to tackle fake reviews in a letter to then-Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. The Federal Trade Commission also in 2019 fined a retail website that paid a third party to post reviews on Amazon, in its first case against the use of fake paid reviews.
You can read the rest here.
This is why, when I try to research products on Amazon, I try to find some combination of high ratings and high numbers of reviews. But this story shows that, while that make sense much of the time, some bad online actors can produce thousands of fake reviews for a single product.