An Insane Amount of Amazon Reviews are Fake, and It’s Hurting Legit Businesses
Their intent, according to founder Jeff Bezos, was to serve as a guide for consumers to make “smarter” choices when shopping for product. But as a recent teardown by the Washington Post shows—the same WaPo that Bezos now owns—that product reviews on the website are not legitimate reviews. And that realization is one that should greatly concern retailers on the ecommerce platform.
To clarify, these illegitimate reviews, as the Post explains, are a combination of straight up fake reviews and reviews that were given as a result of some free product giveaway or compensation model for the reviewer, which is a direct violation of Amazon policy. Though the practice was allowed up until mid-2016, Amazon has since reversed course on these paid reviews, banning sellers that it finds in violation of its policies. The problem, though, is that Amazon is struggling to effectively police its own platform, which has led to the website becoming flooded with these fake reviews.
Sellers have found ways to circumvent the direct promotion of paid reviews by creating online communities away from Amazon itself, soliciting consumers in groups and forums on social networks like Facebook and Reddit.