Speed Reads

review of reviews

Amazon sues Facebook group administrators for allegedly orchestrating fake reviews

Amazon is taking legal action against thousands of Facebook groups allegedly responsible for coordinating fake reviews.

The company says it has filed a lawsuit against the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups who allegedly broker "incentivized and misleading" reviews on the site "in exchange for money or free products."

These alleged "fraudsters" solicit fake reviews for hundreds of products, and they include a group called "Amazon Product Review" that had more than 43,000 members prior to Meta taking it down, according to Amazon.

"Amazon's investigations revealed that the group's administrators attempted to hide their activity and evade Facebook's detection, in part by obfuscating letters from problematic phrases," Amazon said.

Amazon says it has a team dedicated to investigating fake review schemes, and the company has reported over 10,000 fake review groups to Meta since 2020, more than half of which have been taken down. But "this lawsuit goes a step further to uncover perpetrators operating on social media," Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon vice president of Selling Partner Services, said. 

The legal action comes after Amazon and Google both faced an investigation in the U.K. last year focused on whether they've taken insufficient action to crack down on fake reviews, possibly in violation of consumer protection law. "Our worry is that millions of online shoppers could be misled by reading fake reviews and then spending their money based on those recommendations," CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said.