Big Tech Clash: Amazon Sues Facebook Administrators Over Fake Reviews
Amazon says it has a dedicated team of more than 12,000 employees, aimed at “protecting its stores from fraud and abuse, including fake reviews.”
Amazon announced Tuesday that it has filed a suit against the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups, who the e-commerce giant is accusing of helping to “orchestrate fake reviews on Amazon in exchange for money or free products.”
The plot, Amazon says, is international in nature, affecting Amazon stores in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan.
One such group is “Amazon Product Review,” which had 43,000 members before it was taken down by Facebook parent company Meta (Meta is not named in the suit.)
“Our teams stop millions of suspicious reviews before they’re ever seen by customers, and this lawsuit goes a step further to uncover perpetrators operating on social media,” Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of Selling Partner Services, said in a statement from the company. “Proactive legal action targeting bad actors is one of many ways we protect customers by holding bad actors accountable.”
Amazon says it has a dedicated team of more than 12,000 employees, aimed at “protecting its stores from fraud and abuse, including fake reviews,” and that the team monitors most social media sites. The statement added that Amazon reported more than 10,000 fake review groups to Meta since 2020, with the company taking down more than half of them.
“The nefarious business of brokering fake reviews remains an industry-wide problem, and civil litigation is only one step,” the company said. “Permanently ridding fake reviews across retail, travel, and other sectors will require greater public-private partnership, including collaboration between the affected companies, social media sites, and law enforcement, all focused on a goal of greater consumer protection. Amazon remains eager to continue to partner with all the relevant stakeholders to achieve that mutual goal.”
Amazon will announce its second quarter earnings on Thursday, July 28. In the first quarter, the company announced that its operating income dropped $3.7 billion in the first quarter compared to $8.9 billion in the same quarter the year before.
“The pandemic and subsequent war in Ukraine have brought unusual growth and challenges,” Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO, said in the company’s first-quarter earnings report.
“With AWS growing 34% annually over the last two years, and 37% year-over-year in the first quarter, AWS has been integral in helping companies weather the pandemic and move more of their workloads into the cloud. Our Consumer business has grown 23% annually over the past two years, with extraordinary growth in 2020 of 39% year-over-year that necessitated doubling the size of our fulfillment network that we’d built over Amazon’s first 25 years—and doing so in just 24 months.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.