(New York) Amazon has sued more than 11,000 people linked to Facebook discussion groups who sell and buy fake reviews of products sold on the e-commerce platform.
According to the document, filed Monday in civil court in King County, which includes Seattle, where Amazon is headquartered, the tech giant intends to use the procedure to unmask the offending users, whose true identities are not public. .
These are creators, administrators and moderators of discussion groups, often private, dedicated to buying and selling fake reviews, funded by companies that sell products on Amazon.
Particularly sought after are “verified reviews on Amazon”, a label that the platform gives to reviews written by consumers who have actually purchased the product.
Internet users who agree to publish false reviews under their name are paid or receive reimbursement for their purchase, according to the court document consulted by AFP.
To deceive the vigilance of Facebook moderators and artificial intelligence software, many of the creators of these groups use truncated versions of words that could draw attention to their practices.
Amazon mentions in particular a group which counted, for a time, up to 43,000 subscribers.
Asked by AFP, Facebook, which is not directly targeted by the procedure, indicated that it had withdrawn from the social network “the majority” of the groups mentioned in the Amazon procedure.
“Groups that solicit or encourage false reviews do so in violation of our policies and are removed,” a spokeswoman said.
“We are working with Amazon on this and will continue to work with the industry to address the issue of spam and fake reviews,” she added.
Amazon says it has intercepted more than 200 million fake reviews on its platform, but admits that it has not eradicated the problem, because these practices are organized “mostly on third-party sites”.
“False reviews threaten Amazon’s reputation and affect consumer confidence,” argued the platform, which is asking the organizers of Facebook groups to suspend their activities and claim damages from them, in an unspecified amount.