“Currently not available”: This information can currently be found in the Amazon online store for a number of products from Chinese companies, for example, those of the company Aukey, which has proven to be the “best valued globally Amazon-Seller “. The company offers small items such as power banks, chargers, USB hubs, and cell phone holders. But at the moment, you can hardly buy anything; almost all products are reported to be unavailable. The same is obviously true for the offerings of some other Chinese brands like Mpow and Tomtop.
According to an email from computer security company Safety Detectives, the sudden disappearance of many Chinese devices from Amazon’s range is not related to delivery problems. Rather, fake product reviews are said to have been the trigger for Amazon to block the retailers in question.
IT experts at Safety Detectives say they are on a server they suspect is in China. discovered a seven gigabyte databasethat can be read by anyone without password protection. The content: tons of news where Amazon sellers were offering customers free products in exchange for positive reviews. According to Safety Detectives, the data suggests that 200,000 people participated in this activity.
$ 100 for an “honest review”
However, so far neither Amazon nor the aforementioned companies have made a clear statement about the incident. In front of “Techcrunch“Amazon just stated broadly that they ‘use machine learning and seasoned researchers’ to’ analyze more than 10 million reviews a week ‘and’ monitor all existing reviews for signs of abuse.” They also work with social networking sites to “report malicious actors posting abusive reviews outside of our store.”
A tweet from journalist and software developer Corbin Davenport shows how positive reviews come in. When he bought an adjustable height desk from Aukey, he was offered a $ 100 gift certificate for an “honest review.”
Fake product reviews are a problem for Amazon because the company promotes them as a decision-making aid for its customers. Regardless of whether it is a USB hub, bedding, or bath soap: so-called “star ratings” are displayed for almost everything that can be purchased on the American company’s website, which are based on ratings. of customers. If they are missing, then they are also missing guidelines that potential buyers can use when making their purchasing decision. What others liked can’t be bad. Or is that it?
One study suggests just how big the problem could be with fake product reviews on Amazon.Bloomberg«Reported last year. According to this, the service provider Fakespot Inc. had analyzed 700 million reviews. It concluded that 42 percent of them were “unreliable.” However, Amazon considers these calculations to be incorrect.
Since customer reviews in online stores are often the only way to form an opinion about the products on offer, it is very important to know the characteristics that can be used to identify false reviews. What to look for when reading such reviews, how online reviews are manipulated, and why five-star reviews are not the measure of all things, we have summarized here.
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