Amazon to sue fake reviewers

Amazon is going after sites that offer paid for reviews on items for sale on the marketplace, according to news reports over the weekend.

Amazon has filed a lawsuit in Seattle, Washington state, USA against what it terms “false, misleading and inauthentic” reviews that have been paid for by sellers to boost their visibility in search. Apparently 1114 reviewers, termed as “John Does” because their identity is unknown, are providing reviews for money via the website

According to reports the paid for review offer 5 stars.

Amazon says: “While small in number, these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon’s brand.”

It seems right that Amazon makes efforts to tackle phoney paid-for reviews that will likely skew search results on the marketplace. Integrity is everything in such user reviews and if that’s being jeopardised by phoney content then that’s bad.

But equally there is a place for genuine solicited reviews, perhaps with incentives, where consumers do get to use and handle a product and offer an informed reaction that could be vital to fellow consumers.

We’ll keep an eye and see what happens.