LAW: Businesses faking user generated reviews

Uhoh. Bad news for fakers – from The Times (hat tip: G2 New Zealand)

Fake bloggers soon to be ‘named and shamed’

Hotels, restaurants and online shops that post glowing reviews about themselves under false identities could face criminal prosecution under new rules that come into force next year.

Businesses which write fake blog entries or create whole wesbites purporting to be from customers will fall foul of a European directive banning them from “falsely representing oneself as a consumer”.

From December 31, when the change becomes law in the UK, they can be named and shamed by trading standards or taken to court.

If they actually implement this, it will have HUGE repercussions. Not just for the one-off individuals who:

Shortly before Christmas, the owner of the Drumnadrochit Hotel near Loch Ness admitted to posting a fake review of his own venue on the TripAdvisor site, calling it “outstanding” and “charming”. David Bremner said: “Maybe I shouldn’t have done it. But I don’t think it’s that big a deal.”

In 2004, it emerged that John Rechy gave himself a five-star review on Amazon for his book The Life and Adventures of Lyle Clemens, which was attributed only to “a reader from Chicago”. Amazon since has tightened up procedures to try and verify the identity of reviewers.

Black Hat Marketers beware! And me, I really have to stop posting how splendicious and fantabulous I am on everyone’s blog. 😛 What impact does this have on payperpost reviews? Will we have such a law in Australia?

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