Amazon filed a second lawsuit in its effort to battle fake reviews on its site on Friday, the Seattle Times reports.
This suit takes on unnamed account holders on online review startup Fiverr, which garnered $30 million in investment funding last year and pays $5 and more for “freelance writers” to write product reviews.
The e-retailer is suing 1,114 of the reviewers that Amazon has yet to identify by their real names, and not Fiverr. Amazon says the site has a process for taking down fake reviews that Amazon has used.
Fake reviews, including and in some ways especially positive ones, are harmful in the long run because they erode consumer trust. Amazon is rightly taking it seriously, executives from user content management startup Bazaarvoice have told Retail Dive.
“For any brand that incorporates consumer-generated content (CGC) on their site, it is crucial to create a review environment that consumers can trust," Jennifer Griffin, Bazaarvoice VP content integrity and insights, told Retail Dive. "Amazon’s intentions are good; however, additional measures can be taken that put the onus on the brand, rather than the individual consumer. Companies should combat fraudulent or fake reviews by establishing best practices for working with CGC, including the creation of a moderation team and authenticity system to help weed out fraudulent activity on the back-end, so that it almost never ends up on the product page.”
Meanwhile, Fiverr says its process ensures that fake reviews won't stick, though it will likely face serious issues if its freelancers find themselves in court.
Amazon sued other fake-review sites in April and took action against sellers that used fake reviews, and says that those sites have since shuttered.