From The E-Commerce Law Desk: Amazon Sues Reviewers.
Amazon has declared war on fake feedback — and the retailer’s litigators are hunting down pay-for-post services.
Amazon Sues Reviewers: The Feedback Industry In A Nutshell
A philosophical fence separates the online review industry: Feedback facilitators are either on the “light side” or the “dark side.”
The Light Side’s M.O.
Reputable e-commerce marketing companies DO exist. They help Internet retailers market products, find audiences, and garner great reviews using above board tactics.
The Dark Side’s M.O.
Questionable companies pay people to write phony – often glowing – missives on Amazon, Yelp, and other consumer platforms without ever trying the product or reading the book. These folks typically use underhanded tactics (like shipping empty boxes) to give posts an air of credibility.
The deceptive practice has gone viral quicker than a conga line of cats, but it’s slowly poisoning the digital economy.
Amazon Sues Reviewers: Fake Feedback Brokers
Amazon’s first fake review lawsuit targeted the operator of buyazonreviews.com, in addition to the John Doe(s) facilitating buyamazonreviews.com, bayreviews.net, and buyreviewsnow.com. Lawyers for the plaintiff argue trademark violations (some of the sites use unauthorized Amazon logos), unfair competition, and a smattering of other business-related torts.
From the “Amazon sues reviewers” lawsuit: “While small in number, these reviews threaten to undermine the trust that customers, and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers, place in Amazon, thereby tarnishing Amazon’s brand. Amazon strictly prohibits any attempt to manipulate customer reviews and actively polices its website to remove false, misleading, and inauthentic reviews.“Despite substantial efforts to stamp out the practice, an unhealthy ecosystem is developing outside of Amazon to supply inauthentic reviews. Defendants’ businesses consist entirely of selling such reviews.”
Amazon purports to have damning evidence against the defendant (whether it’s true or not is yet to be determined).
Speak With An E-Commerce Attorney
Kelly / Warner focuses on Internet law issues, including online reviews. To learn more about our work with Amazon sellers, head here. Read about our online reputation practice, by jumping here. To speak with one of our experienced attorneys, get in touch today.
Kelly / Warner is an Internet law firm that handles online business matters, including e-commerce issues related to paid online reviews.