Central to the success of the Amazon customer review system is that it is actual customers – people who have purchased and used the product – who are providing their assessments of the product’s usefulness and worth. However, one of the fruits of the system’s success is the emergence of a black market in fraudulent product reviews, written by non-customers for a fee—or worse, written by the fee-payer (often a third-party seller on Amazon) and just using the faux customer’s name and login credentials. It is a testament to how integral is the product review system to Amazon’s business model that Amazon is conducting undercover operations to identify, and is suing, providers of fraudulent reviews so as to protect the integrity of its product review system. >>>
LINK: After undercover sting, Amazon files suit against 1,000 Fiverr users over fake product reviews (by Jacob Demmit for GeekWire)
One Fiverr.com user that went by bess98 offered to write the reviews from multiple computers, so as to deceive Amazon. Another user, Verifiedboss, unwittingly told the investigators, “You know the your [sic] product better than me. So please provide your product review, it will be better.”
As in the previous lawsuit, Amazon alleges that these reviewers often arranged to have empty boxes shipped to them in order to make it look like they had purchased the products.
Amazon is not suing Fiverr. The company noted in the court filing that these kinds of services are banned by Fiverr’s terms and conditions and Fiverr has tried to cut down on the practice.
What do you think?