From the simple disastrous evaluation accompanied by a pithy and derogatory commentary to disqualify a competitor, to automated processes to glorify a product, fake reviews, and false evaluations are a proven scourge.
For many years, many players and most states concerned with fair global e-commerce are mobilized. On one hand, the credibility of a service offering a rating. On the other hand, false comments alter the decision-making process of the user, opening the door to unfair competition.
Impact of online comments on local commerce
- 86% of consumers read reviews of local businesses (95% of 18-34 year olds)
- Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before they can trust a local business.
- 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 stars or more.
- 91% of consumers aged 18 to 34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
FAKE COMMENTS ONLINE, THE FTC SEES RED!
Following a complaint it filed on February 15, 2019, eleven days later, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced in a statement that it had initiated a world first case against a company that was paying for fake comments online on an independent retail website.
According to the FTC, the company would have paid for critics falsely describing its product, the garcinia cambogia supplement, touted as a potent appetite suppressant. The FTC saw red! As Andrew Smith, the director of consumer protection at the FTC, said, “People trust the advice when they buy online,” adding that “When a company buys false reviews to inflate its Amazon ratings, it will both to buyers and companies who respect the rules!”
Based on this observation the FTC did not do in the half measure. Reporter Nick Statt points out that:
“If the brand wants to continue its business, Cure Encapsulations Inc must inform Amazon that it has paid for the notices, which constitutes a violation of Amazon’s promotional content rules, and must also inform all customers who have purchased the weight loss supplement. To keep the company online, the FTC imposes a fine of $12.8 million, of which $50,000 must be paid immediately, the rest being used to enforce the judgment if Cure Encapsulations Inc falsifies the amount available to it.”
The providers and customary false comments on the chain are warned: the FTC went on the offensive!
Elsewhere in the world: providers in false comments in the collimator of justice
Naturally, the amount evoked in the case “Cure Encapsulations” marks the spirits. Remember that this first is not really one. For several years the fight against false comments has been strengthened. The market issue is important. Stakeholders and States are aware of this but the penalties are becoming more severe! A year before the FTC’s coup that puts the nuisance of false comments on the forefront of global online commerce, September 12, 2018 the owner of “PromoSalento” – a company that proposed to restaurants and hotels to write false opinion on the US platform Tripadvisor – was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment and a fine of $9,000.
false evaluations, false comments, false followers, fake traffic, etc. the fake business in the eye of the cyclone
Nature as cyberspace haunting the void, many providers false comments are rife on the web. The business of fake will of course not limited to the false comments. For those who (buyers or service providers) would – always – tempted by systematic deceit – whatever its form – my advice … predict in the future a little cash.
“Who wins without cheating, every time! it’s the law.”