Amazon deflects responsibility on fake reviews but admits 200M were blocked last year

Amazon admits it has a fake review problem, but does its best to spread the blame around a new post Giving details of the issue. After several reports over the years that the online retail giant has been overtaken by knock-off products and fake or cultivated reviews, the company aims to see it finally put its foot down, but no new efforts or regulations are being discussed. has not been done – rather, are there others that need to be stepped up? what is ours Work to keep Amazon safe.

Amazon reviews have become notoriously unreliable as an indicator of quality as stores have volunteered themselves to counterfeit, AliExpress resellers, and the promotion of the company’s internal brands (developed with the benefit of seller data). Different reports There have been organized attempts to spam the store with meaningless 5-star reviews in exchange for free products or cash. I myself have received such offers, or sellers are promising payment to increase the star rating.

After the expected initial palpitations about being “obsessed with happy customers” and all that, Amazon explains that it, like all big tech giants, uses automated systems to review reviews before committing. The company has always been concerned about actual numbers, but it leaves a whisper in this post: “In 2020, we blocked over 200 million suspicious fake reviews before a customer saw them.”

200 million is a lot no matter how you look at it, but it’s really a lot when you consider that Amazon told CNBC the same year that it “analyzes”[s] Over 10 million review submissions weekly,” which adds up to somewhere north of 520 million submissions annually. These two numbers provided by Amazon show that, at least, a third of all submitted reviews are rejected as fake.

Hard numbers are hard to come by on Amazon’s total reviews. talking to buzzfeedIn 2020, Tommy Noonan of Amazon listing analysis site Reviewmeta estimated that Amazon hosted about 250 million reviews (of which, incidentally, he counted about 9 percent as “unnatural”). But if more than 500 million were deposited in 2020 and about 200 million of them were fake, it indicates a larger total. I’ve asked Amazon for more accurate information about this, and will update the post if I hear back, but the company is not communicating these numbers in general.

The tens of thousands of groups that organize on social media have been repeatedly pointed out as major contributors to the fake review ecosystem. Amazon writes that in the first quarter of 2020, it reported over 300 such groups hosting platforms, and over the same period in 2021 it reported more than 1,000. Takedown times have increased, but it’s hard to attribute this growth to anything other than a thriving business model — certainly not something in the process of getting stampeded.

“It is essential for social media companies to invest adequately in proactive controls to detect and enforce fake reviews prior to reporting this issue,” Amazon declared. Indeed social media companies are being pressured from many directions by what users do on their platform, but they make the same noise that Amazon makes: “We’re doing what we can” (and, it Clearly left unsaid) this is not enough).

“We need coordinated assistance from consumer protection regulators around the world,” Amazon writes. but the company Forced and successfully lobbied against the Information Act, which may have helped identify sellers with bad intentions and add transparency to online marketplaces (oddly, some of the moves Amazon has independently objected to). And that line is suspiciously absent when it’s Amazon against which consumers need to be protected.

“It is also important that we hold bad actors—and the service providers who provide them with fake reviews—accountable for their activity,” the post continues. But while lawsuits and partnerships with law enforcement are part of that, the call to “work together” is once again hollow, when Amazon is where the activity takes place and the company is in full control of that ecosystem. Happens in Although it has banned some major players from the store, myriad others flout the rules without any exemptions.

Nowhere in the post does Amazon detail any new moves to deter these bad actors or crack down on the system-wide gaming for which it sets the rules. It will continue to “enhance” its detection tools, “streamline processes” for partnerships, and will “work harder” to hold scammers accountable. In other words, it will continue to do exactly what it has been doing this entire time – which is what kept it in this position in the first place.

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