Customers tell us that product reviews are one of the most valuable elements in our stores and that they like shopping at Amazon because of them. Customers can use reviews to decide whether or not to buy a product, and honest entrepreneurs can use reviews to distinguish their products from similar ones. However, reviews are only useful if they accurately reflect people’s actual product experiences.
Amazon recently sued Fivestar Marketing, Matronex, and AppSally, three big phoney review brokers. All three brokers have now stopped committing fraud against Amazon consumers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. As a result, approximately 350,000 people who use their websites to submit phoney and misleading product reviews on Amazon are no longer encouraged to do so.
Amazon is suing another big phoney review broker, Extreme Rebate, as part of our ongoing efforts to provide a safe and trustworthy buying experience. Extreme Rebate is a Hong Kong-based company that aims to get false reviews posted on Amazon stores in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Canada. Amazon sued them in the United States and Germany, attempting to shut them down and compel them to reveal who hired them. This information will enable us to eliminate any fraudulent reviews that have not yet been spotted and removed by our advanced technology and proactive processes that constantly check our stores.
We’ve had explicit policies prohibiting review abuse, including paying for reviews and seeking only favourable ratings, since Amazon began customer reviews in 1995. Over 10,000 Amazon employees labour across the world to keep our stores safe from fraud and abuse, including phoney reviews. Before any review is displayed, we examine it using a combination of machine learning technology and skilled investigators. Authentic reviews may be found on nearly all of the products in our stores.
However, we face a challenging challenge from false review brokers, as do many other companies and websites that respect and share user input. These con artists spawned an entire industry dedicated to mass-publishing phoney and inauthentic reviews.
Customers are approached via their own websites and asked to submit false or exaggerated evaluations in exchange for money, free products, or other benefits. Extreme Rebate, for example, engages in deceptive practices by offering free things in exchange for five-star evaluations that are at least 15 words long and include photographs or videos.
Amazon is targeting the source of the problem and sending a strong message that we will hold phoney review brokers accountable by taking legal action against them. Our team of experts includes detectives, lawyers, analysts, and other specialists who track down brokers, piece together information about how they operate, and then bring lawsuits to shut them down. Our mission is to give our customers and selling partners the finest shopping experience possible.
We are committed to maintaining the integrity of reviews in our stores, and our technique of catching scammers is working.