Everybody likes a funny Amazon review, whether they’re from people who love/hate a movie for weird reasons, Mad Max fans, or the many consumers whose lives were improved by Three Wolf Moon shirts. Unsurprisingly, though, Amazon itself isn’t such a big fan of people writing fake reviews. As reported by The BBC, it has filed a lawsuit against 1,114 anonymous defendants who were hired through Fiverr.com to give positive reviews to products on Amazon. Basically, Fiverr is a site where people can sell goods or services for $5, and some enterprising folks (though not enterprising enough to get real jobs) offered to let companies pay them to say nice things on Amazon. No word on how funny their reviews were, though.
This might not seem like a big deal to those of us who aren’t retail giants, but Amazon says that “these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon.” The site apparently ran a sting operation of sorts, with a plan that involved hiring users on Fiverr to write reviews, allowing them to do so, and then tracking the IP addresses the posts came from. The phony reviewers haven’t really been identified yet, though, which is why the people targeted by the lawsuit haven’t been named.
So, if you were one of the reviewers who thought this would be a good way to pay your bills, you might want to watch your back. Also, this may or may not end up being a Nathan For You scheme, though we’re not sure what the brilliant comedic twist is…unless Nathan Fielder was also behind Three Wolf Moon and has been planning this for years, which would be amazing.