At the heat of the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses were struggling to survive. In the first three months of this year, there was a shutdown in many businesses worldwide. This shutdown led to a lot of irregularities and the readjustments are currently taking place. According to a recent data from a market monitoring service company, Fakespot, during the COVID-19 pandemic, about 42% of the product reviews on Amazon were false reviews. This value is equivalent to the level of fake reviews during the traditional shopping peak season.
Between March and September this year, Fakespot evaluated 720 million reviews on Amazon.com. It was found that about 42% of the reviews were false comments. Within the same period of last year, the level of fake reviews was about 36%. This means that there is a 6% increase in fake reviews on Amazon year-on-year. Of course, the increase in the number of false reviews also coincides with a large number of consumers turning to online shopping due to the epidemic.
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Saoud Khalifah, founder, and CEO of Fakespot said: “We only saw such numbers during the “Black Friday” or “Christmas period” in 2019. Of course, this is not the same as the US blockade measures”. In contrast, the percentage of false reviews on Walmart.com during the period was about 36%. This is roughly the same as last year.
Fake reviews have plagued Amazon and other online marketplaces for many years. Although these companies are also working hard to remove these reviews, it’s not an easy task. Fake reviewers (sometimes get paid) either advertise the benefits of the product or destroy the sale of the product. For this reason, various automated services have emerged to help shoppers assess whether the reviews they are reading are true.
Amazon refutes claim
However, Amazon does not believe that a company outside the original seller can accurately determine if a review is fake. In response to this report, an Amazon spokeswoman said in an email:
“Companies like Fakespot and ReviewMeta that claim to check reviews cannot accurately determine the authenticity of these reviews because they cannot access legitimate Amazon data. They don’t have access to reviewers, sellers, and product history”.
But the spokesperson also pointed out that Amazon has realized that “bad actors” are trying to abuse the system and are investing a lot of resources to protect the integrity of reviews.