Amazon has announced additional steps to curb fake reviews on its marketplace as it aims to fight back against the illicit “fake review broker” industry. The retailer took legal action against 90 bad actors in 2022, and as of May 2023 it had acted against another 94 this year.
Amazon based its newest strategy on learnings from previous efforts, partnerships with other organizations and prior enforcement actions. The company seeks to support greater collaboration across the private and public sectors through strategies including:
- Greater information sharing about known bad actors: Amazon is aiming to boost cross-industry sharing — including information on bad actors’ tactics and techniques, who they are targeting, the services they provide, and how they operate — to help all companies stop fake review schemes;
- Clearer enforcement authority and greater funding to hold bad actors accountable: The retail giant is calling on government bodies to help apply the appropriate enforcement and funding to pursue these fake review brokers, including by asking countries to establish enforcement authority, enable stronger enforcement tools and making greater use of existing enforcement tools; and
- Better controls for services that facilitate fake review solicitation: Fake review brokers use third-party services like social media and encrypted third-party messaging services to facilitate their illicit schemes, and Amazon is working with these companies to help improve their detection methods and ensure they have better controls to detect these networks and shut them down proactively.
“Amazon will continue to hold bad actors accountable to protect our customers and selling partners,” said Dharmesh Mehta, VP of Worldwide Selling Partner Services at Amazon in a statement. “However, these high-volume fake review brokers are a global problem, impacting customer reviews across multiple industry sectors. The private sector, consumer groups, and governments need to work together to stop these fake review brokers and send a clear message that this illicit activity must stop.”