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Amazon continues battle to rid site of fake reviews

How good are you at spotting fake product reviews on Amazon’s site?

Despite a concerted effort over the last year to eliminate bogus content from its review sections, the e-commerce giant knows the fight may never end, with new businesses seemingly springing up all the time apparently offering sellers positive reviews for a fee.

In its third such action in 12 months, Amazon on Friday sued seven individuals connected to firms that allegedly provide sellers with fake reviews to help them market their goods.

The lawsuit, filed in a Washington state court, named sites such as AmazonReviewsStar.com, AmazonVerifiedReviews.com, and BuyAmazonReviews.info, the Seattle Times reported.

Amazon has always insisted that only a small percentage of reviews on its site are fake, though it knows it has to keep chasing down firms allegedly selling fake reviews so it can maintain the integrity of its site and the trust of its customers.

The online company told the Times that since the start of 2015 it’s sued more than 1,000 people “for tampering with its review system,” though as the news outlet notes, it’s not known how successful its legal action has been.

Commenting on its latest effort, Amazon said in a statement, “To help eliminate the incentives to engage in reviews abuse, we will continue to pursue legal action against the root cause of 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.”

Related: Canada gets tough on fakery as Bell Canada gets fined for posting fake Play Store reviews

Amazon started targeting bogus reviewers in earnest last year, claiming they “threaten to undermine the trust that customers, and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers, place in Amazon, thereby tarnishing Amazon’s brand.”

The company knows it’s an uphill battle, but one it clearly can’t afford to turn its back on. Hopefully online shoppers these days are savvy enough to sniff out fake reviews, though professionally run firms using skilled writers to create such content can certainly make it a significant challenge.