Amazon lawsuit renews pressure on fake review services

28 April, 2016 – New York – London – Melbourne – Copenhagen – Berlin – Internet-retail giant Amazon launched another legal offensive against fake online reviews this week. Filed in the U.S. state of Washington, Amazon’s lawsuit targets the owners of five websites advertising to write fake reviews of online products for a fee. The litigation marks the third time in the last twelve months that Amazon has taken legal action against fake reviews, and is the latest in a recent wave of efforts by regulators and online review sites to step up the enforcement of industry standards.

“Naturally, we fully support Amazon’s activities to fight fraud and help curb the supply of fake online reviews. Individuals that make it their business to fabricate reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers place in online reviews, which is damaging not only to e-commerce but to our industry as a whole”, says Trustpilot’s Head of Trust and Transparency, Kasper Heine.  

Exposing fraud

Amazon’s guidelines prohibit the posting of product reviews written in return for compensation. In the US, such practices are often illegal. Alongside prosecuting the websites directly involved, Amazon has also indicated that it will use the latest proceedings to help identify other similar fraudsters. This puts mounting pressure on businesses fabricating reviews for payment, and manufacturers and distributors of products sold on Amazon who are in the market for phony online endorsements.   

Similarly to Amazon, Trustpilot’s guidelines also ban inauthentic reviews. Alongside a framework of rules, Trustpilot employs a full range of mechanisms to protect the integrity of its online review community. Earlier this year, Trustpilot saw positive results from investigations undertaken by its in-house fraud detection specialists. A concerted action on the part of Trustpilot and online marketplace Fiverr.com® resulted in the prompt removal of 83 profiles making up a large network of freelancers advertising to write fake, positive online reviews. This was a significant stride forward in Trustpilot’s proactive initiatives to combat fraud.

Read more about Trustpilot’s investigation into Fiverr.com freelancers here.

About Trustpilot

Trustpilot is a global, online review community that builds trust and transparency between consumers and businesses. Currently boasting more than 19 million consumer reviews of 120,000 businesses, Trustpilot produces a TrustScore for businesses based on review ratings. Trustpilot’s community is live in 27 countries and more than 10,000 consumers sign up to Trustpilot every day. The platform also helps businesses generate insights through customer review data analytics. This can be used to continuously improve business operations, increase customer satisfaction and drive innovation. By enabling businesses to engage directly with customers, Trustpilot aims to set new global standards in consumer to business dialogue.

Trustpilot has customers in 65 countries and has developed strong positions in Denmark, Sweden, UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as the US. With offices in Copenhagen, London, New York, Berlin and Melbourne, Trustpilot’s 500+ employees represent 40 different nationalities.

More information

For more information, please contact: press@trustpilot.com/ +44 203 617 8463.