Can a crackdown end fake reviews?

A wave of regulation and industry action has placed the flourishing fake review business on notice. But experts say the problem may be insurmountable

Nov 14, 2023

Fake reviews are as old as the internet itself, and they are illegal and banned by online platforms. But fake review businesses have continued to blossom anyway. Now, for the first time, a wave of regulation and moves by tech companies are coalescing in a more concerted effort to turn the tide.

Key takeaways

  • This summer, the Federal Trade Commission proposed a sweeping rule that would punish businesses for buying or selling fake reviews, among other restrictions;
  • In October, several online platforms, including Amazon and Expedia, announced a coalition that would share information and resources among companies to combat review fraud;
  • Google Maps has emerged as one of the largest review platforms globally. The company filed its own lawsuit in June against someone else who posted more than 14,000 fake reviews, according to court records;
  • Experts warned, however, that the fake review problem may be so enormous that it is insurmountable, and note that fake reviewers survived previous crackdowns.

Get the full story at The New York Times (subscription only)

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