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Central Govt Working On New Ways To Protect Online Consumers From Fake Reviews

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Fake Reviews

Are you relying on reviews to buy products? Unfortunately, even some reviews are unreliable. So with growing complaints over fake reviews in a section of e-commerce entities, the Centre is planning to take action against fake reviewers.

The Centre on Friday said it will come out with a standard operating procedure (SoP) to protect online consumers from fake reviews of products and services, after a detailed discussion with e-commerce entities and other key stakeholders on this issue. Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh, who chaired the virtual meeting with stakeholders, discussed the impact of fake and misleading reviews on online consumers and the preparation of a roadmap to prevent such a situation.

Additional Secretary in the Consumer Affairs Ministry Nidhi Khare, department officials, and representatives of e-commerce entities, consumer organizations, law firms, and others were part of the meeting. “We are basically trying to understand whether there are any SoPs available and if we can prepare standard operating principles to guide and protect the consumers from fake reviews,” a senior Consumer Affairs Ministry official told PTI.

Ways to Spot Fake Reviews

While most review sites have a filter in place to detect online reviews, sometimes it’s up to you to perform due diligence. Here are tips on spotting fake reviews:

  • Check the user’s profile: if you can get information about the person who posted the review, you may be able to identify red flags, such as a large number of positive reviews for the same product, lack of social activity, or copy-pasted comments. Even more specific: comparing their review with that of another reviewer will give you a better idea of what kind of person you’re dealing with.
  • Lack of specifics: fake reviews are often hastily written, which is why you’ll find vague descriptions or a lack of specific details in them.
  • Repeat brand mentions: reviews that mention the product name several times and have a marketing-y feel to them could be just that: written by marketers, not consumers.
  • Consider the wording: not just unusual language or grammatical mistakes which could point to outsourced fake review services – you should also look for similarities between reviews in terms of structure and wording.
  • Use specific online tools: there is a growing market for fake review checks. Tools such as ReviewMeta, Fakespot, or TheReviewIndex automatically scan a product page’s reviews and eliminate fake ones to give you a more accurate picture.

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