Amazon Cracking Down on Fake Reviews (Again)
Consumers trust the reviews they encounter on the Web.
A recent Nielsen study, in fact, indicates that 66 percent of people actually trust online product reviews above all other sources and 84 percent trust them as much as a personal recommendation from a friend. As a result, there has been some motivation to influence consumers with reviews that aren't actually real.
This has forced marketplaces like Amazon to regularly monitor the integrity of the reviews on their own platforms and develop policies to prevent fakes from influencing customers.
The company has actually taken steps over the past year to prevent trouble from arising. Earlier in the year for example Amazon brought legal action against over 1,000 sellers soliciting fake reviews and this past week introduces new rules that will govern "incentives" reviews and start restricting how many "non-verified" reviews a user can have. And now, the world's largest online marketplace is again cracking down announcing several new rules related to fake reviews.
Under Amazon’s new rules, for example, users can leave only five reviews per week on products that they did not purchase on the site (previously, this was unlimited). Any user can still review any product, regardless of whether they purchased it on Amazon or not, but users can’t review products in masse now (which also makes it more difficult for sellers to purchase reviews from third parties).
In the past, Amazon has allowed their sellers to offer discounted or even completely free products as long as the receiving user left a review, and clearly stated they had received the product at a discount.
Amazon’s objective here is to ensure that their users can trust the reviews they find on the site. By reducing the number of fake reviews overall, it keeps the marketplace fair for all sellers.