Amazon has taken legal action against the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups in the latest effort to crack down on fake reviews, the company said Tuesday. The online retail giant alleges the Facebook group administrators named in the lawsuit recruited and incentivized people with money or free products to write misleading reviews on Amazon products sold in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan.
“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 press release. “Proactive legal action targeting bad actors is one of many ways we protect customers by holding bad actors accountable.”
Facebook parent company Meta earlier this year took down a group with over 43,000 members, and has taken down thousands more since 2020, according to Amazon.
“Groups that solicit or encourage fake reviews violate our policies and are removed,” Facebook spokesperson Dani Lever said in an emailed statement to CNET. “We are working with Amazon on this matter and will continue to partner across the industry to address spam and fake reviews.”
Amazon has been fighting fake reviews for years. The company in 2015 filed a lawsuit against four different sites and in 2016 took legal action against five additional sites. Earlier this year, Amazon filed lawsuits against review brokers AppSally and Rebatest, alleging that both companies have over 900,000 members combined who are willing to write fake reviews. In May, Amazon sued Hong Kong-based Extreme Rebate for allegedly facilitating payments of $2.50 per five-star review.
“These bad actors harm Amazon customers by deceiving them with reviews that are dishonest and inauthentic,” Amazon’s latest lawsuit said. “Bad actors also harm small and medium-size businesses selling in Amazon’s stores by creating an unfair playing field that makes it more difficult for honest sellers to compete on the issues that matter to consumers, such as quality, features, and price.”