- Amazon sues more than 10,000 group administrators on Facebook over fake reviews, which include a group of 43,000 members.
- Fake reviews became an increasing problem for Amazon as its third-party marketplace has grown to amass millions of sellers.
Amazon filed a lawsuit against more than 10,000 Facebook group administrators who allegedly acted as fake review brokers.
A group, Amazon Product Review, had more than 43,000 members and allegedly offered refunds or other payments to buyers willing to leave fake reviews on products like camera tripods and car stereos. The lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle. It accuses the group administrators of soliciting reviews for items in exchange for money or free products.
The complaint said that the administrators of another group with more than 2,500 members allegedly sought out fake reviews and offered them to Amazon sellers, charging $10 per review, according to screenshots of Facebook messages.
Amazon said that Facebook parent company Meta has taken down half of the more than 10,000 groups reported by them and continues to investigate others.
The case represents Amazon’s recent effort to root out fake reviews on its sprawling third-party marketplace. The marketplace accounts for more than half of e-commerce sales and has helped the company generate record revenue. But fake reviews have become more severe as Amazon’s online marketplace has amassed millions of third-party merchants.
It’s unclear who is running the Facebook groups. According to the complaint, Amazon said it filed the lawsuit to learn their identities, shut down the groups, and compel them to return their “ill-gotten gains from brokering fake reviews.”
Amazon didn’t name defendants in the complaint. It mentioned, “Jane Does d/b/a [doing business as] Facebook groups creators, admins, and moderators.”
The complaint stated that new Facebook groups offering fake reviews continue to appear. Amazon said it has internal teams that scope out fake review purveyors. The teams work with Facebook to close the groups.
Many of the Facebook groups are private and require potential new members to prove that they’re an Amazon seller or reviewer to be admitted.
Amazon has previously said it uses a combination of machine-learning tools and human moderators to try to curb fake reviews. It also asked other social media companies to step in and assist, as fake review communities have flourished in Facebook groups and messaging apps such as Telegram, WhatsApp, and WeChat.
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