Fake online reviews get reality check, report says up to 6% of online reviews are deceptive
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Fake online products reviews have been around for years, fueled by unscrupulous marketers seeking to boost sales.
But a recent crackdown by authorities in New York could be the shock needed for the online sector to clean up its act.
The New York state attorney general's office recently ordered 19 companies to halt these practices and pay fines totalling US$350,000 (S$440,000) to settle charges of manipulating online reviews for sites such as Yelp, Google+ and others.
The settlement stemmed from an undercover investigation in which officials created a fake yogurt shop in Brooklyn and sought help in marketing from so-called "search engine optimisation" firms that work to boost a company's online presence.