Fake or misleading reviews can lead customers to purchase wrong products in the belief that other consumers have had a good experience with them. Misleading reviews have beset consumers in the United Kingdom and has prompted an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
After U.K competition watchdog flagged concern over fake reviews, eBay and Facebook have recently pledged to removed hundreds of pages, accounts, and groups engaged in fake trading reviews. Reportedly, the two companies have agreed to set up efforts to investigate, detect, and respond to such misleading and fake reviewing activities.
As per CMA, over three-quarters of shoppers in the UK are influenced by fake product reviews, while billions of pounds is being spent yearly on write-ups of products which, in turn, encourages fake and misleading trading reviews.
Recently, Facebook detained around 188 pages and groups and deactivated 24 accounts that were engaged in the fake review trade, which included several Instagram platform as well. Meanwhile, eBay has detained 53 users who were engaged in fake review services and temporarily suspended another 176 users.
Allegedly, some groups were writing fake reviews for payment or in exchange for products while others hired people to write a review on shopping and review websites.
Commenting on the growing issue, Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive, CMA, said that fake and misleading reviews are impacting businesses and shoppers alike. Most users make their shopping decisions based on reviews. With fake and misleading reviews, shoppers could end up buying the wrong product which would directly impact businesses that play by the rules.
eBay claims that their company has zero tolerance for misleading or fake reviews and would act against any seller that breaches user polices. Meanwhile, a Facebook spokesperson claims that their firm has invested heavily on stopping users from trading or offering fake reviews on its platforms and is working with CMA to address this issue on a deeper level.