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Amazon Sues Fake Reviewers

Amazon is stepping up its game against fake reviewers by filing a lawsuit.

The suit, aimed at more than 1,000 unidentified people, is targeting a group of freelancers who sell fake reviews of products. Amazon is attempting to do what many marketplaces have done in the past year, which has become a trend from merchants and manufacturers attempting to gain better reviews of their products online.

According to the lawsuit, Amazon is suing individuals who write reviews on Fiverr.com, which is a site that offers reviews for as little as $5. This lawsuit, filed in Seattle state court, follows Amazon’s actions in April when it sued another similar site that sells fake customer reviews. Because online marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba allow anyone to review products and provide virtually any review, monitoring the reviews can be a tough task.

“While small in number, these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon’s brand,” Amazon said in its complaint.

The suit only identifies the defendants as John Does, and notes that there are roughly 1,114 people involved in the suit.

“We continue to use a number of mechanisms to detect and remove the small fraction of reviews that violate our guidelines,” Julie Law, a spokeswoman for Amazon told Bloomberg. “We are currently taking legal action against a number of individuals including many that are referred to here.”

Fiverr said it is cooperating with Amazon’s request to resolve the matter. The lawsuit isn’t targeting Fiverr, but rather the people who are using the site to conduct the service.

“We have worked closely together to remove services that violate our terms of use, and respond promptly to any reports of inappropriate content,” said Channing Barringer, a spokesman for Fiverr, told Bloomberg. “We facilitate close to a million transactions a month, across more than 100 categories of services, such as graphic design, copywriting, voiceover, multimedia editing and coding. These services are being consumed by businesses who depend on them to thrive.”

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