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Amazon files lawsuit against thousands of Facebook group admins over fake reviews

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One of the Facebook groups highlighted in Amazon’s lawsuit against Facebook group administrators over fake reviews. (Image via lawsuit)

Amazon is taking aim at fake reviews on its marketplace in a new lawsuit targeting more than 10,000 Facebook group administrators.

The suit, filed this week in King County Superior Court in Seattle, is the latest attempt by the e-commerce giant to combat fake reviews.

Amazon alleges that the Facebook group administrators organize marketplaces “for the purchase and sale of fake reviews.” It says they are “actively deceiving Amazon’s customers and tarnishing Amazon’s brand for their own profit as well as for the profit of dishonest sellers who purchase their services,” according to the suit.

The suit identifies Facebook admins who guarantee 5-star reviews to sellers in exchange for payments of up to $10 per review. Some admins orchestrate fake reviews in exchange for free products, Amazon said.

In a press release, Amazon said it has more than 12,000 employees working on fraud and abuse in its stores. It has reported more than 10,000 fake review groups to Facebook parent Meta, and it stopped more than 200 million suspected fake reviews in 2020.

The Seattle-based tech giant says it works with Facebook to shut down these groups but new groups offering fake reviews continue to appear.

“Our teams stop millions of suspicious reviews before they’re ever seen by customers, and this lawsuit goes a step further to uncover perpetrators operating on social media,” Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of Selling Partner Services, said in a statement.

Last year a U.K. regulator opened an investigation to assess whether Amazon and Google were doing enough to address fake reviews, which can improve a product ratings or search rankings.

Earlier this year Amazon filed a separate suit against two sites it alleges brokered large numbers of fraudulent and misleading product reviews.

The lawsuits continue a legal campaign that dates back nearly seven years. Amazon filed its first-ever lawsuit over fake reviews in April 2015.

 

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