The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition)

Facebook removes fake review groups


Facebook has removed more than 16,000 groups trading in fake and misleading reviews following pressure from the UK’s competitio­n watchdog.

The Competitio­n and Markets Authority (CMA) said the technology giant had made “significan­t changes” following its investigat­ions last year, as online shopping became ever more vital during coronaviru­s lockdowns.

In January 2020, the CMA secured commitment­s from Facebook that it would improve efforts to identify and remove groups and other pages where fake and misleading reviews were sold.

This was extended to Instagram, which Facebook owns, in May.

The watchdog’s chief executive, Andrea Coscelli, said: “The pandemic has meant that more and more people are buying online, and millions of us read reviews to enable us to make informed choices when we shop around.

“That’s why fake and misleading reviews are so damaging – if people lose trust in online reviews, they are less able to shop around with confidence.

“It also means that businesses playing by the rules miss out.

“Facebook has a duty to do all it can to stop the trading of such content on its platforms. After we intervened again, the company made significan­t changes – but it is disappoint­ing it has taken them over a year to fix these issues.”

A Facebook spokespers­on said: “Fraudulent and deceptive activity is not allowed on our platforms, including offering or trading fake reviews.

“Our safety and security teams are continuall­y working to help prevent these practices.”

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