Since the early days of Amazon, reviews have been the only major metric consumers to use to measure the quality of a product and its validity. Amazon’s listings also have hundreds or thousands of reviews instead of a few seen in rival markets. But one can’t believe all of those posts. Amazon, Walmart, eBay and others have received thousands with fake reviews as sales rose.
Fake reviews become harder to find out from Facebook groups in which wrong actors request positive reviews by bots and click farms which vote for negative reviews. A study in July published by UCLA and USC revealed the existence of over 20 fake Facebook groups with an average membership of 16,000. Sellers offered a reward or payment for a positive review in over 560 posts each day, typically around $6.
The consequences are also becoming more serious as shoppers are staying home and gradually moving online for items they would usually want to shop in person for. Fake reviews have stepped up the sales of dangerous products in recent months and harmed business for legitimate retailers, contributing to the loss of major brands.
Amazon told TNN that it uses “effective machine learning software and professional analysts to evaluate more than 10 million review submissions a week, with the goal of preventing abusive reviews before they are released.” Still, the company recently removed 20,000 reviews after an investigation found that the top Amazon reviewers in the UK were engaged in fraud.