Facebook and eBay crack down on fake product reviews after UK warning

Rachel England
Contributing Writer
Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Facebook and eBay are taking steps to crack down on fake and misleading product reviews, following an advisory notice from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Both companies have signed agreements to better identify, investigate and respond to fake reviews, resulting in Facebook removing 188 groups and disabling 24 user accounts, and eBay permanently banning 140 users.

According to the CMA, neither company was purposefully allowing such reviews on their platforms, but believed they could do better in preventing such activity. Facebook has since agreed to introduce more robust systems to detect and remove fraudulent content, while eBay has improved its existing filters to better identify and block listings for the sale or trade of online reviews.

A statement from Facebook says that "While we have invested heavily to prevent this kind of activity across our services, we know there is more work to do." eBay was more upfront in its response: "We maintain zero tolerance for fake or misleading reviews and will continue to take action against any seller that breaches our user polices. We welcome today's CMA report, as well as their acknowledgement of our ongoing enforcement work on this issue."

In the US, the FTC has been cracking down on fake reviews appearing on Amazon. Taking steps to prevent this fraudulent activity will benefit shoppers everywhere, regardless of which country they're in.