Amazon downgrades 20,000 product reviews to fight false ratings

Amazon UK's top reviewers may be profiting from reviews

Amazon UK's top reviewers may be profiting from reviews

Amazon's top reviewers in the United Kingdom appear to have engaged in fraud, leaving thousands of five-star ratings in exchange for money or free products.

Justin Fryer, the number one Amazon reviewer in the United Kingdom, left a five-star rating once every four hours on average in August, according to the FT's analysis. Fryer then seems to have resold the products on eBay.

When contacted by the FT, Mr Fryer denied posting any reviews which had been paid for but then proceeded to delete his review history from his profile page.

When contacted this week, Mr Fryer said the items on his eBay listings were duplicates, and that the accusation he was receiving free products in return for positive reviews was "false". Numerous same items were seen by the FT in groups and forums offering free products or money in exchange for reviews. "We have clear policies for both reviewers and sales partners that prohibit the misuse of our community properties, and we take suspension, prohibition and legal action against violators of these policies".

The Competition and Markets Authority launched a probe into suspicious online store reviews in May.

The UK watchdog estimates that such reviews influence £23billion worth of shopping in the country every year.

A spokesman told the FT: 'We will not hesitate to take further action if we find evidence that the stores aren't doing what's required under the law'. In May, 58 percent of products on Amazon in the United Kingdom appeared to contain fake reviews, according to Fakespot, a company that analyzes rating fraud.

A minimum of two different high 10-ranked Amazon UK reviewers eliminated their historical past after Mr. Fryer.

Amazon stated it took such fraud significantly and used AI to identify unsafe actors, in addition to monitoring stories from customers. At least one Amazon user has reported the man's questionable ratings to CEO Jeff Bezos.

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While some of Mr Fryer's reviews were removed, no other action was taken.

On August 13 Mr Fryer was found to have sold an electric scooter for £485.99, just one week after posting a review of the same item on Amazon in which he described it as "hands down my favourite toy".

Fryer said the products described as "unused" and "unopened" on the eBay listings were for duplicates. He stated he had paid for the "giant majority" of products, however couldn't say how a lot he had spent "off the highest of his head". "My companion's Chinese language and I do know plenty of the companies over there.and I simply assessment".

Amazon has a specific rule against posting reviews in exchange for "any kind of compensation (including free or discounted products) or anyone else".

Overwhelmingly, these merchandise had been from little-known Chinese language manufacturers, who typically provide to ship reviewers merchandise at no cost in return for constructive posts.

Alongside price and delivery time, reviews are a crucial factor in pushing the products up Amazon's rankings and help gain algorithmically calculated endorsements, such as the influential "Amazon's Choice" badge.

"You are more than twice as likely to choose an inferior product online versus the best product online if there are fake reviews on those inferior products", said Neena Bhati, head of campaigns at consumer group Which?. The group has campaigned closely for extra stringent checks on on-line evaluations.

Scams like this usually start on social networks and messaging apps like Telegram, where companies can meet potential reviewers. After the review is posted, they give a full refund and additional payment at some point.

In a statement emailed to the edgeAn Amazon spokesperson said the company analyzes reviews before they are released to the public and processes 10 million submissions each week.

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