Amazon has blamed social media companies for failing to remove fake reviews from its website, arguing that bad actors turn to social media to buy and sell fake reviews outside the reach of their own technology.
The company says it removed more than 200 million suspected fake reviews before customers saw them in 2020 alone, but has nonetheless faced continued criticism for the huge scale of fake and misleading reviews that hit its mark. store.
This year to which? investigation They found companies that claim to be able to guarantee “Amazon’s Choice” status on products (an algorithmically assigned quality badge that can bring products to the top of search results) in two weeks, and others that claim to have armies of reviewers. which number in the hundreds thousands.
Amazon says those organizations should be blamed on social media companies, which it says are slow to act when warned that fake reviews are being requested on their platforms.
“In the first three months of 2020, we reported more than 300 groups to social media companies, which then took an average of 45 days to prevent those groups from using their service to perpetrate abuse,” a unsigned Amazon blog post saying. “In the first three months of 2021 we reported on more than 1,000 of these groups, and it took an average of five days for social media services to remove them.
“While we appreciate that some social media companies have become much quicker to respond, to address this issue at scale it is imperative that social media companies adequately invest in proactive controls to detect and enforce fake reviews before they get caught. let us report the problem. “
While Amazon did not name any specific social networks, Facebook has been repeatedly criticized for not cracking down on such activity. In January 2020, the UK Competition and Markets Authority obtained an agreement from Facebook to “better identify, investigate and remove groups and other pages on which false and misleading opinions were exchanged, and prevent them from reappearing.” However, a follow-up investigation in 2021 forced the CMA to intervene a second time.
“After we intervened again, the company made important changes, but it is disappointing that it took them more than a year to fix these problems,” Andrea Coscelli, the regulator’s chief executive, said in April.
A Facebook spokesperson said at the time: “Fraudulent and deceptive activity is not allowed on our platforms, including the offering or sharing of false opinions. Our safety and security teams are continually working to help prevent these practices. “