Tech Giants Form Coalition Against Fake Reviews as FTC Seeks Ban

         

Summary: Amazon, Tripadvisor, and other prominent companies have joined forces to combat the issue of fake reviews. In an effort to protect the integrity of consumer reviews, they have announced the formation of the Coalition for Trusted Reviews. The coalition will work together to establish best practices for hosting online reviews, detect fake ones, and develop standards for identifying fake reviews. This collaboration is prompted by the increasing problem of brokers soliciting fake customer reviews via various channels, such as social media platforms, in exchange for rewards. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is proposing a ban on businesses selling or obtaining fake reviews, as well as suppressing honest reviews and engaging in other deceptive practices. The coalition aims to address this issue with immediate focus and plans to hold a second conference in Brussels next month to further discuss solutions.

Amazon, Tripadvisor, Glassdoor, Trustpilot, Expedia Group, Booking.com, and several other companies have announced the formation of the Coalition for Trusted Reviews. This coalition aims to combat the prevalence of fake reviews by establishing best practices for hosting online reviews and developing standards to identify and detect fake ones. The problem of fake reviews is mainly driven by brokers who solicit fraudulent customer reviews through social media platforms and messaging apps in exchange for monetary rewards or other benefits.

Amazon has already taken legal action against operators involved in fake reviews. They recently filed lawsuits against review brokers in China who were using messaging apps to sell fake reviews. Additionally, they sued the administrators of over 10,000 Facebook groups that it claimed were coordinating fake reviews in exchange for money and free products. Similarly, Facebook groups trading reviews for Google and Trustpilot were discovered earlier this year by the British consumer watchdog group ‘Which?’.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a new rule to crack down on fake reviews. The rule would prohibit businesses from selling or obtaining fake reviews, as well as suppressing honest reviews and engaging in fake social media engagement. Violators would face penalties if the proposal is adopted. The coalition, formed by the tech giants, is also committed to addressing the issue of fake reviews. Tripadvisor’s vice president for Trust & Safety, Becky Foley, emphasized the importance of cooperative efforts to combat fake reviews, particularly as many of these operators operate outside of jurisdictions with legal frameworks to shut down fraudulent activities.

The coalition emerged from discussions at a ‘Fake Reviews’ conference organized by Tripadvisor last year. Following the successful collaboration, the companies have planned a second conference in Brussels next month, organized by Amazon, to continue addressing the issue of fake reviews and exploring potential solutions.

Tags: Coalition for Trusted Reviews, fake reviews, Amazon, Tripadvisor, online marketplaces, Federal Trade Commission, bogus reviews, brokers, social media platforms, consumer reviews

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