Amazon sues Facebook group administrators for fake comments

Packages travel along a conveyor at an Amazon fulfillment center on Cyber ​​Monday in Robbinsville, New Jersey, United States, on Monday, November 29, 2021.

Michael Nagel | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon Tuesday Foot sued administrative officials of more than 10,000 Facebook Groups that allegedly acted as fake review mediums.

The lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle, accuses the group’s managers of soliciting reviews of items in exchange for free money or products. One group, the Amazon Product Review, has more than 43,000 members and is alleged to have offered refunds or other payments to buyers willing to leave false reviews on products such as camera mounts and car stereos.

The complaint said another group called “Amazon Diversified Buyer & Seller” has more than 2,500 members. Officials allegedly sought out the fake reviews, and offered them to Amazon sellers, by charging $10 per review, according to screenshots of the Facebook messages included in the complaint.

Amazon said Facebook’s parent company Meta has removed half of the more than 10,000 groups reported by Amazon, and it continues to investigate other groups.

This case represents Amazon’s latest effort to Eliminate Fake Reviews in the sprawling third-party market. The market now accounts for more than half of e-commerce sales and helped the company Achieving record revenue. But Fake comments are getting more and more intense As Amazon’s online marketplace has grown to collect millions from third-party merchants. Bad actors often seek to boost their product reviews or search rankings by soliciting fake reviews.

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It is unclear who manages the Facebook groups. Amazon said it filed the lawsuit in order to find out their identities, shut down the groups and force them to return their “unlawful earnings from brokering fake reviews,” according to the complaint.

Amazon said it has internal teams that deal with fake review providers. Teams work with Facebook to close groups. “Nevertheless, new Facebook groups providing fake reviews continue to appear,” the complaint said.

Many Facebook groups are private, and require potential new members to provide proof that they are sellers or references on Amazon in order to be accepted. Posters often attempt to evade detection by Facebook moderators by obscuring the phrase “refund after review” and writing “R**Fund Aftr R**vew” instead.

Amazon previously said it was using a combination of machine learning tools and human moderators to try to curb fake reviews. Other social media companies have also been asked to step in and help, as communities of fake comment have flourished in Facebook groups and in messaging apps such as Telegram, WhatsApp and WeChat.

Watch: Amazon is full of fake reviews and it’s hard to spot them

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