Consumer choice firm, Which?, says online platforms aren't fighting fake reviews well enough

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The consumer company, Which? has said that online platforms aren’t doing enough to tackle fake reviews online, according to The Independent (Yahoo Finance!). It said that there was an army of people posting paid-for fake reviews on platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Trustpilot. This makes it more difficult for consumers to find the best goods and services online.

To arrive at this conclusion, Which? carried out an investigation. It used a fake review broker to post inauthentic positive reviews for a pretend business on all three of the aforementioned platforms. It said that the three platforms were also very slow at taking down fake reviews. Some businesses found to use fake reviews also remain active on the platforms, showing their lack of action.

Which? said that it spoke to one broker who has written 16,000 reviews for 550 customers around the world – it said this shows how active fake reviewers are online. Commenting on the findings, Rocio Concha, director of policy and advocacy at Which?, said:

“Facebook, Google and Trustpilot are failing to do enough to shut out a fake reviews industry that has been thriving and profiting from misleading reviews for years now. Facebook in particular has repeatedly been slow to act in tackling fake reviews, showing a complete disregard for consumers who want to read genuine reviews. The Government has outlined plans for a new Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill that would give the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) stronger powers to protect consumers from an avalanche of fake reviews. The Bill must be introduced to Parliament by the new prime minister without delay.”

Following the investigation, Which? says that a thousand reviews that it flagged were removed by the platforms. In response to the investigation, all three firms said that they are working to eliminate fake reviews on their platforms.

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