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Amazon, Expedia, Tripadvisor, and Others Form Coalition for Trusted Reviews to Combat Fake Feedback

Amazon, Expedia Group, and other coalition members announce the formation of the Coalition for Trusted Reviews.

Amazon, Glassdoor, Trustpilot, Expedia Group,, and Tripadvisor announced the establishment of the Coalition for Trusted Reviews. This group seeks to safeguard access to reliable consumer reviews on a global scale.

Collaboration Aims to Protect Access to Trustworthy Consumer Reviews

According to Japan Today, one of the primary goals of the Coalition for Trusted Reviews is to address the persistent issue of fake reviews. The coalition members will work together to develop and implement best practices for hosting online reviews, as well as effective methods to identify and combat fake reviews.

The Associated Press noted that an integral part of the coalition's initiative involves creating industry standards defining a fake review. By establishing clear guidelines, the coalition aims to enhance consumer trust and confidence in online reviews.

Uncovering Networks on Social Media and Beyond

The prevalence of fake reviews can be attributed to brokers who solicit fraudulent customer feedback through various channels, including social media platforms and encrypted messaging apps.

These brokers often offer incentives such as monetary compensation, free items, or other benefits in exchange for positive reviews. In some instances, they even post negative reviews on behalf of competitors to undermine their sales.

Last month, Amazon made a significant stride in combating fake reviews by securing a prison sentence for two review brokers in China. The company has also filed numerous lawsuits against similar operators, including a lawsuit against the administrators of over 10,000 Facebook groups alleged to be involved in coordinating bogus reviews.

Earlier this year, the British consumer watchdog group "Which?" discovered Facebook groups engaged in trading reviews for Google and Trustpilot.

Regulatory Efforts to Combat Deceptive Practices

Recognizing the situation's urgency, federal regulators have also taken steps to tackle this issue. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a new rule in June to prohibit businesses from selling or obtaining fake reviews, suppressing honest reviews, and engaging in the sale of fake social media engagement.

Additionally, the proposed rule aims to prevent businesses from controlling websites that claim to offer independent opinions about their products. It also addresses the practice of "review hijacking," where reviews intended for one product are made to appear as if they were written for different products. Violators of the proposed rule may face penalties.

Becky Foley, Tripadvisor's vice president for Trust & Safety, said combating operators behind fake reviews will be "an immediate area of focus" for the coalition.

"These actors often operate outside of jurisdictions with a legal framework to shut down fraudulent activity, making robust cooperation even more important," Foley said.

Photo: Headway/Unsplash

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