FB wipes 16,000 accounts over fake reviews trading

Photo: AP

Facebook announced it had suspended some 16,000 accounts alleged for selling or buying fake reviews of products and services, after Britain’s competition watchdog intervened, Reuters reported. Facebook also made further changes to detect, trace, remove and prevent paid content which might mislead users on its platforms, including popular photo-sharing app Instagram,UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said.

“We have engaged extensively with the CMA to address this issue. Fraudulent and deceptive activity is not allowed on our platforms, including offering or trading fake reviews,” a Facebook representative noted.

The CMA began a crackdown on false reviews from 2019 when it first asked Facebook and e-commerce platform eBay Inc to check their websites after it found evidence of a growing marketplace for misleading customer reviews on the platforms.

“The pandemic has meant that more and more people are buying online, and millions of us read reviews to enable us to make informed choices when we shop around. That’s why fake and misleading reviews are so damaging,” said CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli. CMA’s crackdown on Facebook coincides with Britain’s efforts to set up a dedicated digital markets unit within the regulatory authority to specifically look at governing digital platforms.

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