Contact Us

Disruptive Competition Project

655 15th St., NW

Suite 410

Washington, D.C. 20005

Phone: (202) 783-0070
Fax: (202) 783-0534

Contact Us

Please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly.

Taking Real Action Against Fake Reviews

At some point in time, we have all seen products online with hundreds, or even thousands, of reviews that all look the same and received suspicious emails that read oddly similar with poor syntax and grammar. Spam and fake online reviews harm consumers and businesses alike and responsible digital services invest significant resources to promote a safe and trustworthy Internet, maintaining and enforcing terms of service prohibiting any manner of fraudulent and deceptive practices. As then-FTC Commissioner Wilson noted, “platforms have sought to combat” fake and deceptive reviews and endorsements, and “we know that many retailers and platforms have procedures in place to screen out and reject fake reviews.” 

Businesses operating online take a hard line against fraudulent behavior on their services. Their work in this space goes far beyond enforcing rules against fraudulent and deceptive reviews and also includes instituting legal action, establishing reporting mechanisms for violations, identifying which users are engaging in manipulation and how they are doing it, and establishing enforcement teams and utilizing cutting-edge tools to more accurately identify fake and misleading reviews.

For example, Amazon recently issued a Blueprint for stopping fake reviews and called for increased collaboration across public and private sectors to combat the fake review brokers. Amazon has made the issue a priority and in 2022 alone blocked over 200 million suspected fake reviews and took legal action against thousands of bad actors. Amazon has additionally begun investing significant resources to proactively stop fake reviews before being seen by a customer. In this past June alone, Amazon filed four new lawsuits as part of their efforts to stop fake reviews at the source by targeting the fraudsters facilitating the reviews and holding them accountable. Google has also created 24/7 monitoring for fraudulent content and stopped 20 million fake business profiles from being established. Tripadvisor identified and took down nearly 1.3 million fake reviews, with 72% of these reviews caught before being posted. Yelp has a two-pronged approach to protect consumers from fake reviews, including both Yelp-run sting operations and an active review filter. And Facebook recently updated its community feedback policy with new guidelines around user reviews to prevent people from leaving fake reviews.   

Online offerings continue to innovate and expand over time. Many social media services have grown from a place solely used to post short status updates to a complex service that can even host a market in which individuals and businesses can buy and sell products and services. Digital services will only continue to evolve, but while the expansion of their capabilities creates more opportunities for consumers and businesses, it also brings new challenges.

Businesses are in a constant fight to keep fraudulent and deceptive reviews and endorsements off their services. The guardrails put in place by digital services continually work to prevent reviews by nonexistent individuals or those that did not purchase the product. Digital services are constantly evolving their approach to spam and fake reviews, improving enforcement, engaging with experts to ensure that their tactics reflect best practices, and monitoring the latest trends to stay ahead of emerging threats.


New technologies are constantly emerging that promise to change our lives for the better. These disruptive technologies give us an increase in choice, make technologies more accessible, make things more affordable, and give consumers a voice. And the pace of innovation has only quickened in recent years, as the Internet has enabled a wave of new, inter-connected devices that have benefited consumers around the world, seemingly in all aspects of their lives. Preserving an innovation-friendly market is, therefore, tantamount not only to businesses but society at large.