It s another sign that the internet giant is increasingly serious about eliminating incentives for fake reviews that erode trust, even if it means targeting the third-party retailers that hawk their wares through Amazon s platform and who, unlike the fake-review sites, are a source of revenue.

The web giant has sued three of its sellers: a Chinese company called CCBetterDirect, Michael Abbara, and Kurt Bauer.

For all three, fake reviews comprised up to 40 per cent of the stores total reviews, so the violations were clearly not subtle.

The move away from targeting sites like paidbookreviews.org and toward people on the Amazon platform shows how the company wants to send a very strong warning—which makes sense given that without trustworthy reviews Amazon wouldn t be a very useful marketplace.

It s also tried out verified purchase designation of people who ve bought the product, though as Evan Schuman at ComputerWorld points out, it s really not hard for fake reviewers to buy one item, get that designation, and then go on to fake a review.

It s unsurprising then that a separate study from Mintel, a marketing company, found that almost 70 per cent of Americans ask for other people s opinions online before buying anything, and yet only 59 per cent trust the actual recommendations.

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