Facebook groups creating fake Amazon reviews to boost sales are rampant despite the platform signing an agreement to better tackle the issue.
Which? has found that dozens of Facebook groups, many with tens of thousands of members, offering commission in exchange for fake reviews are still operating openly on Facebook.
“Our research shows that review-trading groups continue to thrive on Facebook, leaving shoppers at huge risk of being duped into buying products on Amazon that have been boosted by fake reviews,” the consumer watchdog’s Natalie Hitchens said.
It comes after both Facebook and Ebay signed an agreement with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) promising to “better identify, investigate and respond to fake and misleading reviews” after an initial investigation by Which? seven months ago.
While Ebay has reportedly made progress, with Which? stating it was unable to fund any sales of fake reviews, Facebook has remained completely unchanged.
Facebook did remove over a dozen groups after it was alerted to their presence by Which?, but a further search by the Financial Times uncovered numerous more with thousands of offers being posted every day.
In response to the latest investigation, Facebook said: “We have been working with the CMA for some time to help address this challenging issue and our safety and security teams are continually working to prevent this kind of activity.”
A spokesperson for the CMA added: “As a result of our action, Facebook committed to improving the way it identifies, investigates and responds to fake and misleading reviews . . . We’ll look carefully at these worrying findings and raise them with Facebook as a matter of urgency.”