Which?, an independent charitable social enterprise, has reported on the uprising trend of private online groups trading free products for inflated reviews. In an earlier investigation into fake reviews, they found these groups offering "... incentivised positive reviews for Amazon product purchases in return for a full refund or even additional payment." Which? joined 10 different incentivized groups on Facebook and found that over the course of 30 days, 55,000 new posts were created for the black hat review garnering method. Additionally, Which? reported that "Amazon" was featured in the names of all 10 groups.
Dozens of Facebook groups continue to encourage incentivised reviews on a huge scale, a Which? investigation has found, and little appears to have been done since the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) urged it to act on the trade of fake reviews.
On 21 June the CMA announced ‘troubling evidence’ of a thriving marketplace for fake online reviews on eBay and Facebook. The CMA wrote to both companies requesting that identified content was removed, and that measures were put in place to stop them from reappearing. Both Facebook and eBay agreed to co-operate, but more than a month on we’ve found that little has changed on Facebook.
Original article posted: 6 Aug 2019, written by Hannah Walsh
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