UK Government to tighten laws on fake reviews
Google and Amazon already under investigation and new laws proposed to hit review fraudsters harder
The UK government has announced that it is to continue its plans to crackdown on fake reviews, with improved enforcement powers for the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) and tougher actions, including substantial fines and potential actions against company directors.
The CMA has continued to review the harm caused by online fake reviews. It was back in 2015 that they started to investigate the problem and KwikChex was one of the businesses they asked to participate in gathering information. Since then, they have issued warnings and expressed concerns to a number of businesses and on 25 June this year, they announced they had opened formal enforcement cases against Amazon and Google, stating concerns that Amazon and Google have not been doing enough to tackle fake reviews on their sites. They will be gathering further information from the two firms to determine whether they may have breached consumer law by taking insufficient action to protect shoppers from such reviews on their sites.
Now it has been announced that Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will reveal new proposals to force websites to verify any reviews they host to stop consumers getting duped by fake positive reviews. Plans include making it illegal to write fake reviews. The CMA would also get extra powers to take action against those knowingly planting fake reviews.
Action against Fake negative reviews also being considered
It has been reported that a government source has also said: “Fake ratings can ruin a small business’s reputation and we’re determined to put a stop to this. By making it automatically illegal to pay someone to write a fake review or host unverified ratings, we’ll tackle these consumer ‘catfishes’ and ensure consumers aren’t being duped.”
KwikChex, which has been at the forefront of tackling online fake reviews for over 10 years, will continue to provide information on fake reviews to government and enforcement authorities around the world and to assist businesses affected by defamatory content and consumers that have been scammed after reading fake good reviews.
See examples of KwikChex work on fake reviews on the links below