Amazon is so serious about weeding out fake reviews that it’s suing more than 1,000 people who are responsible for writing some of them, claiming it’s ruining people’s trust with the e-commerce giant.
Specifically, Amazon is targeting 1,114 people (“John Does”) that used the online marketplace Fiverr.com, which lets people charge others $5 for a small task, like transcribing or even editing a “Halloween cat greetings video” that festive occasion.
In this case, Amazon employees disguised themselves as sellers and asked Fiverr sellers to write a five-star review in order to boost their rankings.
One Fiverr user, identified as bess98, said they would write the reviews from multiple computers to trick Amazon’s verification process. “Another user, Verifiedboss, unwittingly told the investigators, ‘You know the your [sic] product better than me. So please provide your product review, it will be better,’” GeekWire reports.
Writing in the lawsuit that the amount of fake reviews is “small in number,” Amazon says they “significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon’s brand.”
Amazon is not suing Fiverr, which says these type of review writing tasks are banned on its website even though a search for “Amazon reviews” reveals a massive marketplace for these underhanded services.
Julie Quick, the SVP Head of Insights and Strategy at shopper marketing agency Shoptology, said is more of a gesture to put sellers “on notice” rather than in an attempt to recover “real damage,” which is difficult to quantify.
“Amazon is coming out hard against this,” Quick told Digiday, saying that it’s a “symbolic gesture that they’re not going to tolerate this.” She said it’s also meant to reassure customers that its review systems, which is Amazon’s backbone, is “authentic.”
Image via Shutterstock.
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