The global e-commerce giant Amazon relies heavily on the reviews posted by customers. So to do the thousands of vendors who sell their products through the online marketplace. There has long been a suspicion that some reviews are false, inauthentic and misleading.
Well, those reviews will no longer go unpunished. The online retailer filed a lawsuit against over 1,100 fake reviewers who sell fabricated comments to companies seeking to improve the appeal of their products.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Seattle on Friday, will go after those who post "fake, misleading and inauthentic" reviews online. The defendants, who are termed "John Does," have offered false review services in efforts to make a profit. The sellers avoided getting caught by using different accounts from unique IP addresses.
Amazon was able to identify many of the fake reviewers by conducting an investigation and purchasing some of the fake reviews. The company is also working with Fiverr.com, a popular website where reviews were sold, to resolve the issue.
Amazon's complaint highlighted the damage to consumers trust, which the company and its many sellers and manufacturers rely heavily upon. Furthermore, the result of false reviews undermines and tarnishes Amazon's brand the complaint stated.
This isn't the first time that Amazon has gone after individuals that provide fake reviews. Earlier this year the company filed its first-ever lawsuit against a California man who was responsible for selling fake product reviews.
Many of the websites targeted in the spring lawsuit have since been shut down. It's new suit, against individual reviewers is the next step in Amazon's expanding campaign against fake product review. The lawsuit, which was filed in Seattle, Washington cites a breach of contract and violation of Washington's consumer protection laws.
A company statement said, "Amazon is bringing this action to protect its customers from this misconduct by stopping defendants and uprooting the ecosystem in which they participate."