1,114 Fake Reviewers Are On Amazon's Chopping Block

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You can buy a fake review for $5 or less in some circles - but the real cost of a fake review might be increasing soon.

Amazon has filed a lawsuit over a group of 1,114 fake reviews - perhaps the first in a chain.

Says Amazon, "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."

ergophobe on WebmasterWorld has a good answer to the question - "but will it do any good?"

ergophobe wrote:
I think of the RIAA suing filesharing and that really could not staunch the bleeding in the music industry. Whereas many big players (Microsoft is an unsung hero here) put resources into stopping email spammers both through taking out their botnets (often with the help of law enforcement) and creating algorithms and standards to stop spammers and has dramatically reduced email spam. Many say the spam wars have been won and, based on my inbox, that is the case for me. Presumably Amazon is pursuing both approaches. There are bigger issues with reviews than the fakes, though. What about the real reviews from people who are getting "consideration"? It is rampant.

Give the thread a read - there are more concerns than just fake reviews for places like Amazon. Amazon doesn't like fake reviews for obvious reasons - but what about PR stunts like freebies and goodies given away for good reviews? Maybe those good reviews aren't demanded or promised - but paying someone and then hinting "You know, you could leave a nice review in exchange for our nice gesture," isn't exactly squeaky clean either...is it?

Overall this seems like a good thing to me, though. Reviews are a way that people make purchasing decisions. Some don't read reviews - they just look at overall star ratings. Some sites use ratings in algorithms to make products more visible. Fake reviews undermine the market, and they've gotta go.