Amazon sues leaders of more than 10,000 Facebook groups it says churn out fake reviews

The e-commerce site said the groups targeted its sites in the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan.

Amazon filed a lawsuit against the leaders of over 10,000 Facebook groups it accused of publishing fake reviews on the e-commerce site, the company announced on Tuesday.

The groups work around the world to recruit people to write false reviews in return for money or free products, Amazon said in a news release. One of the groups in the lawsuit, which was removed by Meta, the parent company of Facebook, had over 43,000 members, the company said. The “incentivized and misleading” reviews targeted Amazon sites in the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan.

Amazon, which in the suit described itself as a “pioneer of product reviews,” has dealt with bogus reviews for years. While the company has strict regulations around fake reviews, it has received pressure from the Federal Trade Commission to take action, Vox reported. Last year, Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority started an investigation into how Amazon and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, handle sham reviews.

The company said it had over 12,000 employees who worked to combat fraudulent reviews, including those stemming from groups that coordinate their efforts on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Amazon said it had reported over 10,000 fake review groups to Meta.

“The nefarious business of brokering fake reviews remains an industrywide problem, and civil litigation is only one step,” the news release said.