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Amazon cleans house by suing fake review sites

Amazon has been on a quest to determine who has been buying and selling fake reviews. Now, they’ve filed several lawsuits against the offenders which makes us wonder if other companies will follow their lead.

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The anti-troll

We wrote about Amazon’s mission to stamp out fake reviews and the first lawsuit they filed against these companies here. Now, it seems, Amazon is launching a full scale campaign aimed at stamping out fake review sites. Amazon has sued several operators of websites that sell fake reviews of products for posting on the Amazon site. Amazon also holds hope that they will be able to determine who has been buying these fake reviews as well.


Filing suit against fake review providers

The latest lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court and took aim at Chris Embry, operator of a New York-based company fittingly called, Amazon stated Embry’s site promises to help sellers promote their products by offering falsified “verified” reviews. Typically, a “verified” review is only supposed to appear if the person offered the review has bought the product from Amazon. By offering falsified “verified” reviews, products are not being accurately represented. Embry’s site is offline, now, but…

Amazon has named a second site in their most recent suit: Jane John-Nwanko. John-Nwanko is the creator of, a site that offers to purchase an author’s book and give a positive review on Amazon.  The Seattle Times also stated that Amazon filed suit against five other people who couldn’t be identified. Three of the sites whose owners couldn’t be identified were:,, and

Why take aim at fake reviews?

Amazon has been rooting out fake reviews for a while now. While they state that only a small portion of reviews are fake; a large portion of their success was founded on the premise of honest reviews. Amazon has filed claim against more than 1,000 people since the beginning of last year for manipulating the review system.

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Amazon is seeking damages, but they are also seeking information from the accused in an effort to identify parties that paid for the reviews.  Amazon stated, “to help eliminate the incentives to engage in reviews abuse, we will continue to pursue legal action against the root cause of the reviews abuse — the sellers and manufacturers who create the demand for fraudulent services — as well as the ecosystem of individuals and organizations who supply fraudulent reviews in exchange for compensation.”

What this means for the future

Whether or not Amazon will be successful in uncovering who is buying and providing reviews remains to be seen; but one thing is clear: Amazon is taking aim at fake reviews and seems to be bound and determined to pursue this until they’ve cleaned house. What do you think? Will this change the quality of reviews, or will it merely change the way in which fake reviews are contracted?

Will Amazon’s quest to clean house influence other companies to follow suit? Possibly; I think if nothing else, this will give consumers pause when reading an online review.

Previously, a consumer read a review and if it was “verified,” I think by and large people believed it was legitimate. Now consumers will be wondering whether or not they can trust the reviews and I think this is why Amazon and other large retailers are taking aim at fake reviews before the doubt runs too deep.


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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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  1. Pingback: Fake Online Reviews Archive | Internet Crime Fighters Organization

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