Long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo quotes Bloomberg: Fake reviews on Amazon.com Inc. during the pandemic have reached levels typically seen during the holiday shopping season. About 42% of 720 million Amazon reviews assessed by the monitoring service Fakespot Inc. from March through September were unreliable, up from about 36% for the same period last year. The rise in fake reviews corresponded with the stampede online of millions of virus-avoiding shoppers. “We’ve only seen those kinds of numbers in the Black Friday or Christmas period in 2019,” said Fakespot founder and Chief Executive Officer Saoud Khalifah. “In 2020, the surge of fake reviews has proliferated in a rapid manner coinciding with lockdown measures in the USA.” By contrast, almost 36% of Walmart.com reviews assessed by Fakespot during the same period were fake — about the same as last year. Bogus reviews have plagued Amazon and other online marketplaces for years, despite the companies’ efforts to purge them. The perpetrators, sometimes paid, either hype the virtues of a product or sabotage it to tank sales. Various automated services have emerged to help shoppers assess whether the reviews they’re reading are real.

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