New European Rules To Ban Fake Consumer Blogs And Amazon Reviews
from the always-ways-around-it dept
A few years back, a glitch at Amazon made it clear that plenty of authors were giving their own books anonymous positive reviews. This eventually resulted in Amazon putting in place new policies that tried to ban anonymous reviews. Apparently “fake reviews” like that, as well as fake consumer blogs claiming to be happy customers of a product, will now be banned in Europe. Of course, while it may seem like a good idea to ban fake reviews claiming to be from customers, where to draw the line gets pretty tricky. As is noted in the comments to that article, how do you deal with endorsements from celebrities who have never used the product they’re endorsing? Or, what if it’s a family member who puts up book review, rather than the author him or herself? It may seem like a good idea, but it seems impossible to really stop the process of fake reviews. Eventually, if stories come out about people or companies putting up fake reviews, it will cause damage to their brands — and that level of self-regulation seems likely to be more effective than any law. Update: A good comment below suggests that the Times Online (the source of the original article) has got the details wrong, and the directive isn’t nearly as bad as described.