News article about Amazon now suing sellers and reviewers for fake reviews


#1

Maybe this will slow down all these paid and fake reviews.

Seller beware — if you buy reviews for your products on Amazon, the company might sue you.

As part of its effort to combat fake reviews on its platform, Amazon sued three of its sellers today for using sock puppet accounts to post fake reviews about their products. Amazon has been aggressively pursuing reviewers it does not consider genuine over the last year, often using lawsuits to discourage the buying and selling of reviews, but this is the first time it has sued the sellers themselves.

Today’s suits are against sellers who Amazon claims used fake accounts to leave positive reviews on their own products. The fake reviews spanned from 30 to 45 percent of the sellers’ total reviews. The defendants are Michael Abbara of California, Kurt Bauer of Pennsylvania, and a Chinese company called CCBetter Direct.

Amazon is asking for the defendants to be banned from selling products on any of its sites or accessing its services. The suits also ask for the profits the sellers made on Amazon, attorneys’ fees, and damages exceeding $25,000.

Amazon says that, since early 2015, it has sued over 1,000 people who posted fake reviews for cash. Now, the company is going after the retailers themselves. Amazon said that it intends to eliminate incentives for sellers to buy fake reviews for their products.

“Our goal is to eliminate the incentives for sellers to engage in review abuse and shut down this ecosystem around fraudulent reviews in exchange for compensation,” an Amazon spokesperson said.

Amazon employs a number of methods to combat fake reviews, including suspending sellers and shutting down their accounts. The online retailer is also working to develop algorithms to detect fake reviews and prevent them from appearing at all. Last summer, it started ranking trusted reviews so that shoppers would see those first.

Between the lawsuits and algorithms, Amazon says it is having success against fake reviews. “The vast majority of reviews on Amazon are authentic, helping millions of customers make informed buying decisions every day,” a spokesperson said


#2

> “The vast majority of reviews on Amazon are authentic, helping millions of customers make informed buying decisions every day,” a spokesperson said

Haha a funny spokesperson

An “algorithm to detect fake reviews”

I dont think thats possible at all, the money exchange and the communication done beforehand to set up a fake review is done entirely off Amazon, how are they going to detect it?

The only way Amazon can stop it is by limiting the “I recieved this product for free…” type of reviews, put a limit on that as sellers are going way overboard and its starting to affect me as a buyer.

It takes sooo much time to wade through “honest” review to see real reviews, often times the real ones are “meh…its ok” ir downright negative"

But its ok because they have 100’s of reviewers ready to cover it and hide it and throw it back a few pages.

Seriously, why do I need to read a review from an obvious bias perspective?

Its one thing to see a good mix, 2 or 3 reviews to kick things off then real reviews start to kick in.

but do you think pages upon pages of biased reviews in the hundreds are going to give your product a good image?

Do you teally think it is the best investment you can make as a seller? Assuming that product is something worthy of promoting not just a doohicky you get for a couple of dollars wholesale


#3

ELIMIMATE, not “limit” these bogus reviews.

Only legitimate Vine reviewers, should be allowed to post product “sample” reviews; +and+ Amazon should go back to the practice of only allowing Verified purchases to post a review on the product they actually purchased.


#4

I agree with you…again today I searched for an item and EVERY single one had tons of paid reveiws.
in fact…one of the reveiwers seemed real and recommended another product that was better…
so…I went to that one…and lo and behold…every one on that page was fake!
I will not buy from anyone with paid reveiws.
it is just garbage.


#5

Yeah, fake reviews, also, can be used by competitors to bring “star’s score down”…if one can pay to buy “unbiased positive” review, what would stop that seller to buy “unbiased negative” review for a competitor product?


#6

how do you know they were paid reviews?


#7

>
I not fully in tune with this review nonsense because I don’t sell my own brand but I’m sure it’s easy to detect.

Multiple reviews for many products from the same sockpuppets.
Amazon probably has a good idea what the ratios should be of verified vs non verified buyers. (I’ll admit ignorance on the subject as it is not clear to me if these paid reviews are verified, non-verified- or a mix)
How many reviews should there be for an item at a certain sales rank.
How fast do the reviews start to come in?
Probably the rates and frequency they are posted at.
They can probably detect and link multiple buyer accounts like sellers account.
Once looking into these buyer accounts they can tell which sellers the feedback is going to.
They can look at the amount of or lack of negative reviews…and if there are negatives from the reviewers are they going to the sellers competition?
Are these reviews coming from someone who is buying multiple items that are similar and wouldn’t need? Like an extension cord for example…are they reviewing the 6 foot, 7 foot, 8 foot, 20 foot so on…then maybe doing the same to the competition with negative.

As I said I’m ignorant on this subject and may be off base…but if even if a few of these are true it could be fairly easy.


#8

Giving away products for review is NOT against Amazon policy. There seems to be a lot of confusion on this.

The article is about PAID reviews where you go to a website and pay a fee for someone to write whatever you ask of them even though they have not seen the product in real life. Amazon is and has been cracking down on these types of reviews.

The article is ALSO about fake reviews, where sellers establish extra buyer accounts to leave feedback for themselves. Amazon is obviously taking this seriously as well.

It has nothing to do with the age-old practice of giving away merchandise for feedback.


#9

> {quote:title=Rushdie wrote:}
> Only legitimate Vine reviewers, should be allowed to post product “sample” reviews; +and+ Amazon should go back to the practice of only allowing Verified purchases to post a review on the product they actually purchased.
I agree on Vine reviewers; at least, Amazon can control the process…
but, some of those fake reviews were, technically, done on purchased products…although deeply discounted, but, still, purchased


#10

its obvious right from the start that reveiwers got free product.
lots of pictures…videos…
total lack of knowledge of why you would actually buy the item and not because as one reveiwer put it…"its such a cool gadget"
for a travel water flosser ?
If he actually used one he would have compared it to the at home version that any buyer of a travel flosser owns.
lol
and my favorite…that so many of them write…“if you like my reveiw please vote it helpful”???
I have written hundreds of reveiws and never asked anyone to vote mine helpful.
what i do when i see these at the top of an items page is to look at the other recent feedback…and normally it’s terrible.


#11

>>agree on Vine reviewers; at least, Amazon can control the process…
> > but, some of those fake reviews were, technically, done on purchased products…although deeply discounted, but, still, purchased
>
> if the customer purchased the item or even got it for free, it’s not a ‘fake’ review.

You are correct, technically, they are not “fake” and it is not illegal on Amazon or in advertisement world…but, let’s get real…how truly “unbiased and honest” those reviews are? got to be crazy to bite a hand that feeds you…


#12

if the customer purchased the item or even got it for free, it’s not a ‘fake’ review.


#13

> for a travel water flosser ?
> If he actually used one he would have compared it to the at home version that any buyer of a travel flosser owns.
> lol
> and my favorite…that so many of them write…“if you like my reveiw please vote it helpful”???
> I have written hundreds of reveiws and never asked anyone to vote mine helpful.
> what i do when i see these at the top of an items page is to look at the other recent feedback…and normally it’s terrible.

sounds reasonable to me…


#14

NIce Very Nice… especially as I just coincidentally sent a letter via fax to Amazon’s Legal Dept to complain about a seller with two selling accts, and at least 4 sock puppet accts, and once acct that looks like it was hacked and taken over from a real person who wasn’t using it.
Did Amazon hire some new blood in the C-Suites? There is a lot about Amazon that still annoys me, but I am impressed with the changes to address marketing and promotional abuses.

Violation reports that use to take months to get acted on are now handled in days. Junk ASINs are being deleted, and I have seen a HUGE slowdown in bogus ASIN changes…

At least in BISS your experience may differ depending on category.


#15

It’s great and should be. I’m tired to get a few emails ask free items to get reviews. I totally stopped buy any vitamins, pills, hair masks due to fake reviews


#16

{quote:title=GoodSeller wrote:}Amazon is asking for the defendants to be banned from selling products on any of its sites or accessing its services. {quote}

Since when does Amazon need to seek permission to forbid account creation or block potential buyers?


#17

Iam being real because i have used this practice and i do get some unfavorable product reviews this way.

The point is that the cited article has NOTHING to do with this type of reviewing.


#18

That made no sense to me either…


#19

Again, this is not the type of reviews Amazon is cracking down on.


#20

Fake reviews are fraud. They should go after people doing it.