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Facebook Is Filled With Fake Online Review Groups

Facebook full of fake online review groups, warns Which?

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Facebook has not taken any step to address fake review groups till date. Pixabay

Facebook has failed to stop fake product review factories that are increasingly being used to mislead consumers, an investigation by consumer association Which? has found.

Facebook remains flooded with fake review groups, despite being ordered to take urgent action by UK regulator Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the study found.

“Our latest findings demonstrate that Facebook has systematically failed to take action while its platform continues to be plagued with fake review groups generating thousands of posts a day,” Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of Products and Services, said in a statement.

“It is deeply concerning that the company continues to leave customers exposed to poor quality or unsafe products boosted by misleading and disingenuous reviews,” Hitchins added.

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A study by UK regulator Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) reveals that Facebook is filled with fake reviews. Pixabay

Which? found dozens of groups on the social networking site in the UK that are recruiting people to write fake or incentivised reviews, with sellers offering free products in exchange for highly-rated reviews for products listed on Amazon.

During the investigation researchers joined ten of these Facebook review groups and found 3,511 new posts generated in just one day, and more than 55,000 posts over a 30-day period.

The true overall figure could well be higher as Facebook caps the number of posts it displays, Which? said.

In June, UK’s Competition and Markets Authority warned Facebook and eBay to conduct an urgent review of their sites after it found “troubling evidence” of a thriving marketplace for fake online reviews.

The platforms were told to remove and prevent these groups from reappearing.

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Fake and incentivised reviews mislead consumers in buying random products. Pixabay

While eBay seems to have largely eradicated listings offering five star reviews for sale, Facebook continues to be full of fake review groups, the research found.

The rise in fake reviews could increase the chance of people potentially being duped into buying poor quality or even unsafe products that have been boosted by disingenuous reviews.

Also Read: Microsoft Shutting Down its Developer-Focused MSDN Magazine

A Which? survey of the public showed that 97 per cent of people use online when researching a purchase.

“Facebook must immediately take steps to not only address the groups that are reported to it, but proactively identify and shut down other groups, and put measures in place to prevent more from appearing in the future,” Hitchins said. (IANS)

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Social Media Giant Facebook Requires ‘Significant Work’ to Stop Political Bias

“We don’t allow content that might encourage offline harm or is intended to intimidate, exclude or silence people,” he added

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Facebook has released results of an independent internal audit conducted by a former Republican senator that found the social networking giant has been biased against conservatives and needs to do “significant work” to stop this.

Former Senator Jon Kyl, a respected Republican and his team at the law firm Covington and Burling met with more than 130 leading conservative politicians and organizations and produced the report.

Facebook has long been accused of bias against conservative viewpoints to appear on its platform

“Although these concerns appear across the political and ideological spectrum, members of the conservative community in particular are concerned that the Silicon Valley-based company’s admittedly liberal culture negatively influences the reach of conservative ideas and news.”

“Political conservatives, religious traditionalists, and others are increasingly feeling marginalised by cultural ‘gatekeepers’ such as social media, entertainment media, and academia,” the report said.

According to Nick Clegg, Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, the report also highlights the changes Facebook has made to address some of those concerns.

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FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

“These include making our decisions more transparent by providing more information on why people are seeing specific posts on News Feed; ensuring Page managers can see when enforcement action takes place; launching an appeals process; and creating a new Oversight Board for content,” Clegg said in a statement late Tuesday.

This is the first stage of an ongoing process and Senator Kyl and his team will report again in a few months’ time.

“Facebook’s policies and their application have the potential to restrict free expression. Given the platform’s popularity and ubiquity, this is a danger that must be taken very seriously. Facebook insists that it is committed to safety, equal treatment and building community,” read the report.

Also Read: Apple Card Now Available to all U.S. Customers

“Facebook has recognized the importance of our assessment and has taken some steps to address the concerns we uncovered. But there is still significant work to be done to satisfy the concerns we heard from conservatives,” it added.

Clegg said that “while we err on the side of free speech, there are critical exceptions”.

“We don’t allow content that might encourage offline harm or is intended to intimidate, exclude or silence people,” he added. (IANS)