Mike Prospero for Tom’s Guide:
Go shopping on Amazon for anything — laptops, diapers, door locks, tires — and you’ll likely study a product’s star rating, as well as the number of reviews it has, when choosing the one to buy. Even better if it has the “Amazon’s Choice” seal of approval, which, according to Amazon, is reserved for “highly rated, well-priced products available to ship immediately.”
Does it not seem to you that far too many products on Amazon have four and five star ratings? I wonder why?
Go on Facebook and search for Amazon Review, and you’ll find dozens of groups with companies asking people to buy and review their products; in exchange, they promise to refund the full amount of the product. Some even offer a commission. The USA amazon reviewers club, for instance, has nearly 5,000 members, with individuals with such catchy names as Bob Dylan asking for reviews of tablecloth clips. Another “Amazon Review Club” group has more than 45,000 members. And, because these “reviewers” have purchased the product, they show up as Verified.
Oh, that’s why. Fake News, meet Fake Reviews.