News Amazon Will Sue 1100 Fake Book Reviewers

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by Vinegarette, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. Vinegarette

    Vinegarette Don't Believe What You Hear

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    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/Tech/article1621058.ece

    Amazon Will Sue 1100 Fake Book Reviewers

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    AMAZON, the world’s largest online marketplace, is suing more than 1,000 people suspected of selling fake reviews in one of the biggest legal actions to uncover hidden identities on the internet.

    The web giant is mounting the unprecedented court action to strip 1,114 alleged fake reviewers of their anonymity and force them to pay damages for the “manipulation and deception” of Amazon customers, according to court documents filed in America on Friday.

    It is the first time any company has taken action against its own reviewers on this scale, according to legal experts, and could have far-reaching implications for privacy and the way consumer websites are policed.

    The clampdown comes after an undercover Sunday Times investigation, in which a ghostwritten ebook was published on Amazon and fake reviewers were paid to push it to the top of one of the online retailer’s bestseller charts.


    Amazon has filed a lawsuit accusing more than 1,100 members of the freelance marketplace Fiverr of offering to post phony product reviews on Amazon.com.

    As Geekwire first reported, today’s lawsuit comes on the heels of an Amazon sting operation in which the company paid some of the Fiverr members named in the suit. Posting phony reviews goes against Amazon’s terms of service, and Fiverr’s rules also ban its members from performing work that violates a third party’s terms of service. The lawsuit isn’t targeting the merchants who may have hired these defendants to post fake reviews, nor is it targeting Fiverr.

    Amazon’s lawsuit names several Fiverr members that it solicited for phony reviews, including one who goes by the username bess98. This person charges $5 for an Amazon review, and claims to have “more than 30+ different account and ip” — presumably from which the reviews will be posted in an attempt to avoid getting caught — and invites the merchant to write the review that will be posted.

    Here’s a screenshot from the page where bess98 offers this Amazon review service:

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    In its lawsuit today, Amazon says fake reviews like the ones that may come from the defendants are “small in number,” but “these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon’s brand.”

    It’s the second lawsuit Amazon has filed this year over fake reviews; back in April, the company sued websites including buyazonreviews.com and others. In its filing today, Amazon says “most of those sites have since closed and Amazon has identified and taken action against sellers who used those sites to obtain fake reviews.”

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  2. MilkyDischarge

    MilkyDischarge Se suelto el diablo Gold

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    From Reuters, maybe Beth will no longer be a best-seller!

    Amazon.com Inc has sued four websites to stop them from selling fake, positive product reviews.

    In a complaint filed on Wednesday in King County Superior Court in Washington, Amazon said the bogus reviews undermine a system that the Seattle-based online retailer launched 20 years ago to help shoppers using its website decide what to buy.

    Four- and five-star reviews can aid sales, especially if customers perceive them as unbiased.

    But Amazon said the defendants are misleading customers, and through their activity generating improper profit for themselves and a "handful" of dishonest sellers and manufacturers.

    "While small in number, these reviews threaten to undermine the trust that customers, and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers, place in Amazon, thereby tarnishing Amazon's brand," the complaint said.

    The defendants include Jay Gentile, a California man who allegedly runs buyazonreviews.com, as well as unnamed operators of buyamazonreviews.com, bayreviews.net and buyreviewsnow.com, according to the complaint.

    Amazon said the defendants have caused reviews to be posted on its website intermittently, through a "slow drip" designed to evade its detection systems, at a typical cost of $19 to $22 per review.

    The defendants did not immediately respond on Thursday to requests for comment or could not immediately be reached.

    Amazon's lawsuit accuses the various defendants of trademark infringement, and violations of federal anti-cybersquatting and Washington consumer protection laws.

    It seeks a halt to the alleged fake reviews and improper use of the Amazon name, as well as compensatory and triple damages.

    Yelp Inc, which lets consumers post reviews to its website, on Feb. 13 sued yelpdirector.com's alleged operators, accusing them of trying to help businesses through posting positive reviews and suppressing bad reviews. The defendants have not responded to that complaint, court records show.

    The case is Amazon.com Inc v. Gentile et al, Washington State Superior Court, King County, No. 15-2-08579-4.



    (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)
     
  3. JessOnCrack

    JessOnCrack Check out my maniacal laugh! Banned User

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    Some of those reviews were classics
     
  4. Jayla

    Jayla Ou ai-je l'esprit? Gold

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    Ha.
     
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  5. wife is a whore

    wife is a whore Stripped of POTY for butthurting staff VIP

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    I never pay attention to good reviews on websites. Instead I go to the shitty reviews and weed through which people are retards and which are actual flaws in the product.
     
  6. !!!kaboom!!!

    !!!kaboom!!! Well-Known Member Banned User

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    It is a shame what the Internet is about.

    I think there will be a reverse trend where people more so trust tangible media, like newspapers and magazines, for product reviews.

    The other bogus sites are the trip review type places. I've stayed in some horrendous hotels that somehow have five star reviews, for example. Totally fake.
     
  7. queerface

    queerface Un-engaged Dyke Gold

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    My former assistant used to book travel based on positive reviews. I wound up in some true shit palaces due to her naïveté.
     
  8. guruhugz

    guruhugz Well-Known Member

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    So the review calling Beth Stern the greatest writer in the last 100 years was a fake?
     
  9. Fillmore Fingers

    Fillmore Fingers Sandy Vag Banned User

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    Same. You can pretty much tell which reviews are ass-lathering bullshit and which are legitimate assessments.
     
  10. HypocriteHowie

    HypocriteHowie Well-Known Member

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    I fucking hate when someone gives a product a bad review because of something stupid like they sent the wrong color.
     
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  11. SlipperyVic

    SlipperyVic In Gord We Trust Gold

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    This tends to be what I do. If there's 100 reviews of a product you can throw out the top 15 or so, most likely faked by the person selling the product. You can dismiss the bottom 15 as well as they are mostly overly disgruntled customers who's unrealistic expectations were not met and now will do anything to bash the product.

    The only thing you can take from reviews is trends.
     
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  12. Anyonenow

    Anyonenow Well-Known Member

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    Who knew there was such a Law anti-cybersquatting

    The Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d), is an American law enacted in 1999 that established a cause of action for registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name confusingly similar to, or dilutive of, a trademark or personal name.[1][2] The law was designed to thwart “cybersquatters” who register Internet domain names containing trademarks with no intention of creating a legitimate web site, but instead plan to sell the domain name to the trademark owner or a third party.[3] Critics of the ACPA complain about the non-global scope of the Act and its potential to restrict free speech,[4] while others dispute these complaints. Before the ACPA was enacted, trademark owners relied heavily on the Federal Trademark Dilution Act (FTDA) to sue domain name registrants.[3] The FTDA was enacted in 1995 in part with the intent to curb domain name abuses.[5] The legislative history of the FTDA specifically mentions that trademark dilution in domain names was a matter of Congressional concern motivating the Act.[6] Senator Leahy stated that “it is my hope that this anti-dilution statute can help stem the use of deceptive Internet addresses taken by those who are choosing marks that are associated with the products and reputations of others”.[6]


    For example, in Panavision Int’l L.P. v. Toeppen, 141 F.3d 1316 (9th Cir. 1998), Dennis Toeppen registered the domain name Panavision.com. Panavision, the trademark owner, learned that Toeppen had registered their trademark when they attempted to register the trademark “Panavision” as a domain name.[6] Toeppen was using the domain panavision.com to display photographs of Pana, Illinois, and, when asked to cease, he offered to sell the domain name to Panavision for $13,000.[6] After Panavision refused to buy the domain name from Toeppen, he registered their other trademark, Panaflex, as a domain name.[6] The Court held that the FTDA could be violated without the traditional tarnishing or blurring the courts had required.[3] Rulings like this extended the FTDA substantially.


    In determining whether the domain name registrant has a bad faith intent to profit, a court may consider many factors, including nine that are outlined in the statute:

    1. Registrant’s trademark or other intellectual property rights in the domain name;
    2. Whether the domain name contains the registrant’s legal or common name;
    3. Registrant’s prior use of the domain name in connection with the bona fide offering of goods or services;
    4. Registrant’s bona fide noncommercial or fair use of the mark in a site accessible by the domain name;
    5. Registrant’s intent to divert customers from the mark owner’s online location that could harm the goodwill represented by the mark, for commercial gain or with the intent to tarnish or disparage the mark;
    6. Registrant’s offer to transfer, sell, or otherwise assign the domain name to the mark owner or a third party for financial gain, without having used the mark in a legitimate site;
    7. Registrant’s providing misleading false contact information when applying for registration of the domain name;
    8. Registrant’s registration or acquisition of multiple domain names that are identical or confusingly similar to marks of others; and
    9. Extent to which the mark in the domain is distinctive or famous.[11]
     
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  13. Beth143nacho

    Beth143nacho Well-Known Member VIP

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    There is NO way that this doesn't affect Beth's shitty books.
     
  14. maroon

    maroon Well-Known Member Banned User

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    I don't know how the bullshit of my pillow stays in business. after seeing the guy on imus I checked out the reviews, what a nightmare, I wouldn't touch or deal with that bogus company and their shitty overpriced pillows
     
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  15. Wangold

    Wangold Well-Known Member

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  16. Wangold

    Wangold Well-Known Member

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    Those aren't pillows!

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  17. Mlaw

    Mlaw Quite Contrarian Gold

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    Fake reviews are pretty easy to see, they are usually very long, and detailed. When I write reviews, they are short and to the point.
     
  18. Jewlican

    Jewlican Well-Known Member VIP

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  19. Vinegarette

    Vinegarette Don't Believe What You Hear

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    That's exactly the correct way to do it. Then you can usually spot the real "positive" reviews when you read through them.

    Amazon, and some other sites, have an additional "Verified Purchaser" flag on their reviews so that you know the person actually bought the product.

    A verified purchase can be manipulated to some extent too unfortunately, but if the "Verified Purchaser" flag is on the review, I give it a lot more credence knowing the person actually bought the product from the site.

    See the advertisement I inserted below for one of these "paid product Review" services:
    • They will use multiple names & IP addresses to look like different people
    • If it's a Kindle (or other eBook) product you have to provide them with some of the product text (since they are not going to buy the product, just review it for you)
    • If you want the "Verified Purchaser" flag on your FAKE review you send them a purchase code for the product along with your review fee
    • Bulk reviews for any product for a special pricing !!!
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  20. HS Cult Leader

    HS Cult Leader Elite Member Gold

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    The real question is, will Amazon be willing to trash Beth's bullshit book reviews and then unleashing the wrath of Howard Stern and his "15 million" listeners? :chair: