Amazon pushes back against fake reviews by suing sellers
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Amazon took another step to purge fake reviews from its site last week by suing three sellers for using false accounts to post positive reviews about their products.
According to TechCrunch, Amazon is looking to permanently ban the defendants in the suit from buying and selling on its website, and is also seeking all the profits the sellers made on Amazon, attorneys’ fees and damages exceeding $25,000. This is the first time Amazon has sued sellers on its marketplace.
In the past the e-commerce giant has sued the companies that sell fake reviews, not those who buy them. The retailer has sued more than 1,000 parties that provide these false reviews since 2015 and last June installed a machine-learning reviews system that favors verified users on its site.
The three cases against sellers filed with the American Arbitration Association target merchants that use “sock puppets” to provide overwhelmingly positive reviews on 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. Lawsuits are only one piece of the puzzle,” Amazon said in a statement provided to media outlets.
Amazon is stepping up its game for good reason: Many customers use online reviews when evaluating a purchase, with 95 percent saying they have consulted reviews in the past, according to research from PowerReviews. Only price beats reviews as the most important consideration when a customer is contemplating a purchase, above free shipping, product brand, and even recommendations from family and friends.
An Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch that these methods are largely working, saying the “vast majority” of reviews on the site are authentic.
- Amazon pushes back against fake reviews by suing sellers – Retail Dive
- Amazon sues sellers for buying fake reviews – TechCrunch
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see any risks to Amazon suing and banning sellers for fake reviews? Are public lawsuits a good way for Amazon to instill confidence in consumers that the company is able to manage its fake review problem?