According to reports after the UK’s competition watchdog interfered for the second time, the social media giant Facebook has removed 16,000 accounts for selling or purchasing fake product and service reviews on its platforms.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that Facebook made further changes to find, delete, and avoid paid content that might deceive users on its platforms, including the famous photo-sharing app Instagram.
A Facebook representative stated that “we have engaged extensively with the CMA to address this issue. Fraudulent and deceptive activity is not allowed on our platforms, including offering or trading fake reviews.”
The CMA began a crackdown on false reviews from 2019 when it first asked Facebook and eCommerce platform eBay to search their websites after it discovered evidence of a growing marketplace for fake customer reviews on the platforms.
The CMA has also been looking into Facebook’s acquisition of GIF website Giphy, which has raised antitrust concerns. It has come under fire around the world for its data-sharing activities, as well as for spreading fake news and hate speech.
CMA Chief Executive Officer Mr. Andrea Coscelli remarked that “the pandemic has meant that more and more people are buying online, and millions of us read reviews to enable us to make informed choices when we shop around. That’s why fake and misleading reviews are so damaging.”
The CMA’s repression of Facebook comes at the same time as Britain’s attempts to establish a dedicated digital markets unit within the regulatory authority to focus on governing digital platforms.