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Amazon fights back against phoney reviews

23 April 2015 - 10:30 by Graham Miller

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Whensafe shopping online, many consumers will scroll down to check out user reviews of a product or service they are considering purchasing. People trust the experiences of others, so a positive review can encourage them to commit to a sale while a negative response may put them off completely.

Of course, there is little to stop fake reviews appearing on sites, written by third parties who have a vested interest in improving the public perception of a product, or indeed disparaging an item from a rival brand. And entire businesses have been built around the creation of these phoney reviews, making it harder to tell the difference between genuine consumer opinions and misleading false posts.

BBC News reports that Amazon is attempting to reduce the number of illegitimate product reviews that are posted on its site, with the latest effort being made in the courts, where the retailer is suing four companies that offer out their services to create fake reviews.

In a statement, Amazon pointed out that in spite of the fake reviews representing a very small percentage of the total reviews available on its site, it is still unacceptable that people are profiting out of these deliberate attempts to mislead consumers who are attempting to carry out safe shopping online.

The lawsuit filed against the four firms in the US seeks not only to shut them down for fraudulent activities, but also targets them on a number of copyright infringement claims, since Amazon’s name is often used in the title of their organisations.

With four and five star product reviews available to buy on demand for around £15 each, consumers should be aware of the fakes that are out there and do plenty of research with professional publications before making a commitment.