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Competition watchdog investigates plague of fake reviews amid claims online stores aren’t tackling them

Competition watchdog investigates plague of fake reviews amid claims online stores aren’t tackling them

  • The CMA is more concerned as online retail has become more important
  • Those previously criticized include Amazon, eBay, TripAdvisor
  • TripAdvisor said: ‘No other review platform does more to fight fake reviews’
  • Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19

Watchdogs have investigated claims in online stores and other websites are not doing enough to tackle fake reviews.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned that the British are spending billions on untrustworthy products, holidays and traders based on the reviews.

Online shopping has become increasingly important during the coronavirus blocking, so the CMA has said it will investigate how sites currently detect and respond to fake reviews.

It has not identified the companies involved except to say that they are ‘large websites’.

Those that have been criticized in the past include Amazon, eBay and TripAdvisor

Those that have been criticized in the past include Amazon, eBay and TripAdvisor

Those who have been criticized in the past include Amazon, eBay and TripAdvisor.

In addition, Facebook and Instagram have been accused of allowing villains to promote fake factories.

The research will look at things like suspicious reviews, companies manipulating the presentation of reviews, and how websites handle reviews where the reviewer has been paid or received an incentive to post.

CMA CEO Andrea Coscelli said it will “not hesitate to take further action” if sites break the law.

TripAdvisor said that “no other review platform does more to fight fake reviews,” while eBay said it was “committed to partnering with the CMA,” and Amazon said customer confidence was “at the heart of our approach.”

The watchdog has previously received similar assurances from Facebook and eBay about addressing the issue of fake reviews.

The CMA said at this point not to claim that a website has acted illegally, but to ensure that it has robust systems in place and would take enforcement action to ensure necessary changes if necessary, including prosecution.

Andrea Coscelli said, “Most of us read reviews online to help decide which products or services to buy.

“During lockdown, we depend more than ever on online shopping, so it is very important that the online reviews we read are real opinions.

“If someone is persuaded to buy something after reading a fake or misleading review, they could end up wasting their money on a product or service that was not what they wanted.

TripAdvisor said: 'No other review platform does more to fight fake reviews'

TripAdvisor said: 'No other review platform does more to fight fake reviews'

TripAdvisor said: ‘No other review platform does more to fight fake reviews’

“Our research will investigate whether several large websites are doing enough to fight fake reviews. And we will not hesitate to take further action if we find evidence that they are not doing what is required by law. ‘

Consumer group Which? has previously warned about the awareness of fake or misleading reviews on a number of websites and called for a CMA investigation into this issue earlier this year.

Neena Bhati, head of campaigns at Which?, Welcomed the start of the investigation.

‘It is good to see that the supervisor focuses his attention on assessment sites such as Which? studies have repeatedly uncovered false or stimulated reviews that are used by unscrupulous sellers to mislead people on some of the world’s largest websites, “she said.

Online platforms should take more responsibility to help prevent users from being misled by fake reviews and today’s announcement should serve as a warning to companies that are not cracking down on a lack of proper oversight.

Bhati added: “We provide further evidence to the CMA that we hope will prove useful in the next phase of its investigation – and we expect the regulator to take appropriate action against platforms identified as failing in their responsibilities to protect consumers. “

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