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Facebook and eBay sign agreement banning misleading reviews

By Ramla Soni

Facebook has so far removed 188 groups and disabled 24 user accounts while eBay has permanently banned 140 users

Facebook and eBay have signed agreements to better “identify, investigate and respond” to fake and misleading reviews after the UK’s antitrust regulator flagged the issue last summer.

In response to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) highlighting its concerns over misleading reviews, Facebook has removed 188 groups and disabled 24 user accounts while eBay has permanently banned 140 users.

Facebook has also agreed to introduce more robust systems to detect and remove misleading content. eBay has improved its existing filters to better identify and block listings for the sale or trade of online reviews.

The CMA said it also discovered “new examples” of fake reviews being sold on Facebook’s Instagram. The regulator said it had reported these to Facebook and that the company is investigating them. The CMA will be seeking a commitment from Facebook to take action to tackle these further issues.

The CMA also said it is not alleging that Facebook or eBay are intentionally allowing this content to appear on their websites and is pleased that both companies have fully co-operated.

More than three-quarters of people in the UK are said to be influenced by reviews when they shop online, and billions of pounds are spent every year based on the reviews of products or services.

Fake and misleading reviews are illegal under consumer protection law.

Further reading: Facebook acquires cloud gaming company PlayGiga

Further reading: eBay sells StubHub ticketing service to viagogo for $4.05bn in cash

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