In the list of nightmares of the network, the comments and the false opinions occupy a very prominent position. In general, for the entire industry they are a problem because they act as a drag on online credibility.
Consumers generally lose confidence in the Internet because of this type of action, because they lead them to think that the products they buy are much better than they are and to feel ripped off later. For the ecommerce giants, likewise, false comments are a major drag because it leads certain sellers and brands to manipulate the system.
The giants of the network have announced on many occasions that they were in a kind of war with this type of comments and with those who are behind them. Amazon, for example, has purged commenter lists, changed the rules or what its algorithm values, and has even brought some of these fake reviewer creators to trial. The company has tried to curb the emergence of a parallel industry of fake reviews.
Still, illegitimate reviews still exist and leaving them online is pretty easy. Anyone with an internet connection could theoretically do it. And, as anyone who has come across any of the products driven by a list of false comments on the net knows in a purchase process, its impact is still very noticeable.
Traditionally, the battle of fake reviews was seen as a kind of confrontation between those who leave those illegitimate opinions on the one hand and consumers and brands on the other. Consumers and ecommerce companies who saw their platforms filled with fake reviews were in the same boat.
But are they really? Or on the contrary, companies are not doing everything they should to end it? This last point could be about to become the next great soap opera – yet another – for the internet giants.
What the British are investigating
The Competition and Markets Authority, the UK market regulator, has just launched an investigation. Their goal is to determine whether Amazon and Google, the two companies investigated, are doing enough to crack down on fake reviews. The investigation begins after a first internal investigation, which began in May 2020.
Now it has become an official investigation based on a certain fear that both companies are not doing enough. The agency makes it clear that it has not yet reached a conclusion either for or against. I mean, they still don’t know if Google and Amazon are doing – or not – enough.
The preliminary investigation has raised some concern. What is feared is that they are not doing enough to detect suspicious reviews, that they are not eliminating them quickly or that they do not penalize enough those who engage in these behaviors. In the case of Amazon, there is also concern that the company is not doing enough to prevent its sellers from tampering with product listings.
What it can suppose
However, that this has become research material says a lot and, above all, it could become the starting gun for more potential research (which is something that often happens in these cases).
As they add in The Wall Street Journal, the investigation also comes at a sensitive moment, in which the American internet giants are being investigated and analyzed to determine if they are abusing their position of dominance.