Amazon files lawsuit against hundreds of fake reviewers

The discerning Amazon user knows what to keep an eye out for: non-verified reviewers who sing praises about a scarcely-known product, loads of 5-star reviews that are all suspiciously short and similar, and other similar activities. The Web is full of sites where shady sellers can pay for fake Amazon reviews, and while the Internet retailer has implemented steps to combat them, it has just taken things a step further.

Amazon has filed a lawsuit against more than 1,000 individuals who it claims have provided reviews on its U.S. site that are not genuine. These fake reviews, as they're often called, have harmed Amazon's reputation, according to the suit. Who these individuals are is unknown; Amazon merely calls them "John Does" in the lawsuit. The reviewers reportedly used more than one IP address and Amazon account to post reviews, making it harder to pinpoint them.

A total of 1,114 people are targeted by the lawsuit; they all reportedly offered their fake reviewing services on the website, where individuals can advertise a service in exchange for a fee, typically $5. Fiverr doesn't allow such services, though, and removes them as they surface. According to The Guardian, Fiverr said in a statement that it has been working with Amazon to purge "services that violate our terms of use."

Amazon has started using artificial intelligence as one of its methods to surface accurate reviews and purge fake ones. Still, the glut of reviews-for-pay remain a problem, and Amazon rightly fears they could undermine the value of its service — once consumers become burned by too many fake reviews, earning their trust back won't be easy.

SOURCE: The Guardian