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Facebook suspends 16,000 accounts for selling fake reviews of products

Fri 09 April 2021 11:22 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - The UK's Competition and Markets Authority said on Friday that Facebook had suspended 16,000 accounts for selling and buying fake reviews for products and services.

It was the second time that the British regulator had felt it necessary to intervene.

"Facebook has made further changes to its systems for identifying, removing and preventing such content on its social media platforms to ensure it is fulfilling its previous commitments", the CMA said in a statement.

The social media platform also pledged to suspend and ban users who repeatedly created Facebook groups and Instagram profiles that promote, encourage or facilitate fake and misleading reviews.

New automated processes to improve the detection and removal of such content were being developed.

They would make it harder for people to use Facebook's search tools to find fake and misleading review groups and profiles on its platforms.

In January 2020, Facebook committed to better identify, investigate and remove groups and other pages where fake and misleading reviews were being traded, and prevent them from reappearing.

Facebook made a similar pledge in relation to its Instagram.com business in May 2020, after the CMA voiced similar concerns.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said: "Never before has online shopping been so important. 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, and will miss out on the best deals. It also means that businesses playing by the rules miss out."

"We will continue to keep a close eye on Facebook, including its Instagram business. Should we find it is failing to honour its commitments, we will not hesitate to take further action."

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