Facebook’s fake review problem has not improved, despite the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) demanding action.
Fake review pages, offering to write favourable reviews on ecommerce sites in exchange for money of free goods are still “flooding” Facebook, according to consumer watchdog Which?
In June the CMA said it found 26 groups on Facebook in which users were buying and selling positive testimonials on online shopping sites.
It demanded that both Facebook and Ebay, which was also found to host hundreds of listings offering fake reviews, take urgent action to tackle the problem.
Despite this Which? says it uncovered “dozens” of “fake review factories” on Facebook offering the illicit service, adding that the number could in fact run into the hundreds.
After joining 10 of the groups, Which? said a total of 3,511 new posts were generated in just one day.
The groups are also understood to be growing in popularity, with one seeing a 75 per cent increase in members to 10,000 by the end of July.
“It is deeply concerning that the company continues to leave customers exposed to poor quality or unsafe products boosted by misleading and disingenuous reviews,” Which? head of products and services Natalie Hitchins said.
She added that Facebook “continues to be plagued with fake review groups generating thousands of posts a day” and had “systematically failed” to take action.
The CMA’s senior director George Lusty said: “It is unacceptable that Facebook groups promoting fake reviews seem to be reappearing.
“Facebook must take effective steps to deal with this problem by quickly removing the material and stop it from resurfacing.”
Facebook says it has tripled the size of its safety and security team since 2017, and has removed nine of the 10 groups highlighted by Which?
According to the CMA online reviews influence around £23 billion worth of transactions every year in the UK.