A Unified Front Against Fake Reviews: Amazon, Expedia, and Trustpilot Take a Stand!!!

Fake Reviews

Fake reviews have been a continuous problem in online marketplaces, often stoked up by agents who demand fake customer reviews through various channels, including social media platforms and encrypted messaging apps, in exchange for settlement, free products, or other motives. These dealers can exploit reviews to boost sales for businesses or damage the prestige of competitors.

Amazon has taken legal action against such activities, including cases against review brokers. In one recent case, two review brokers in China were punished to prison for selling fake reviews to Amazon sellers using messaging apps. Amazon has also listed numerous other cases in the past year against operators involved in the same activities.

This issue raises beyond individual companies, as cooperative efforts to control fake reviews are in progress. In June, the Federal Trade Commission in the United States suggested new regulations, including banning businesses from selling or obtaining fake reviews, inhibiting honest reviews, and engaging in the sale of fake social media attention.

In an exceptional move, some of the most recognized names in the online industry, including Amazon, Booking.com, Expedia, and Tripadvisor, have come together to wage a collective battle against fake reviews that are staining the credibility of their platforms. 

The members of this group plan to work jointly to set up industry best ways for receiving online reviews and to share techniques for detecting fake ones. They strive to develop clear criteria to identify what constitutes a fake review and substitute information on the policy employed by hostile actors in the sphere of bogus reviews.

Unified Front Against Fake Reviews

This powerful alliance, which also contains workplace review site Glassdoor and review platform Trustpilot, is set to pool resources and intelligence to discourage deceitful activities, indicating a united front in the fight against evil practices.

The primary rationale behind this collaboration is the increasing concern that artificial intelligence-driven chatbots are gradually being used to develop fake online reviews for financial gain. Such misleading maneuvers not only cast a shadow on a company’s fame but also misguide customers into making ill-informed buying decisions, often resulting in defective products or services. In the United Kingdom, a recent authority report exposed that fake product reviews solely could possibly cost consumers around £312 million annually.

Becky Foley, Tripadvisor’s Vice President for Trust and Safety, emphasized the necessity of addressing the operators behind fake reviews, noting that they often operate in authority with inadequate legal mechanisms to fight dishonest activities, making international cooperation even more critical.

The establishment of the “Coalition for Trusted Reviews” appeared from discussions held during a “Fake Reviews” conference arranged by Tripadvisor last year. The team plans to assemble for a second conference organized by Amazon, planned for early December in Brussels, further proving their commitment to fighting the issue of fake reviews.

Coalition for Trusted Reviews

The issue stretches beyond the UK, as up to 15% of all reviews in famous product categories on e-commerce platforms, such as consumer electronics, home and kitchen, and sports and outdoors, are considered to be fake. As a reaction to this dire trend, the UK government is aiming to address the issue through the Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumer Bill currently making its way through parliament, while the United States Federal Trade Commission is also taking into account similar measures.

The collaboration aims to fight the threat through several key initiatives:

  1. The group will unite on forming explicit criteria for pinpointing fake reviews, and improving consistency across platforms.
  2. The group will provide valuable insights and best practices associated with hosting and reducing online reviews will be replaced to secure a more influential approach to supporting authenticity.
  3. The group will actively share data regarding companies concerned in selling fake reviews and businesses striving to influence these reviews to enhance their public image.

Amazon Vice President Dharmesh Mehta stressed that this problem extends far beyond their industry, affecting numerous sectors. He stressed that “through greater collaboration and sharing across industries, including information on fraudsters’ tactics and how they operate, we can more effectively shut down fraudulent review activity, deter other bad actors from attempting to game our systems, and protect more consumers.”

The magnitude of the issue becomes evident when considering that travel booking site Tripadvisor alone identified a staggering 1.3 million fake reviews on its platform in 2022. Becky Foley, a vice president of the platform, highlighted the challenge to dealing with review writers who often function in authority lacking legal mechanisms to fight dishonest activity, stressing the importance of concentrated cooperation in the fight against fake reviews.


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