Meta files new lawsuit over the sale of fake customer reviews
Meta has filed a new lawsuit in California over the use of fake reviews on Facebook, targeting a specific fake review seller who it says had sought to manipulate its systems to benefit its customers.
In the new suit, Meta says that Chad Taylor Cowan, who had been operating as ‘Customer Feedback Score Solutions’, provided fake reviews and feedback for businesses, with the intention of artificially increasing their Facebook Customer Feedback Score.
Meta analyzes feedback on an ongoing basis to understand people’s experiences on their technologies. As a part of this work, some people receive surveys after clicking on ads to help understand whether the quality of the product they purchased met their expectations, the shipping was timely, and to learn more about their customer service experience. This survey data, along with other information, informs a business’ Customer Feedback Score. Businesses that receive a significant amount of negative feedback can then face enforcement measures, including ad restrictions, financial penalties or disabling accounts. Customer Feedback Solutions aimed to manipulate this process to benefit its clients.
It’s the first time that Meta has targeted fake review sellers specifically, though it has been steadily increasing its overall legal enforcement efforts over the past few years. Reviews haven’t been a key focus – though earlier this year, Amazon launched legal action against two companies that had allegedly acted as fake-review brokers on its platform.
That may have opened the door for more enforcement action on this front, with the Amazon cases potentially acting as legal precedent for such, and as Meta looks to introduce more eCommerce and brand recommendation tools into its apps, it makes sense for it to take action now to address this element.
The case will likely take some time, but it’ll be interesting to see what legal decisions come from these new actions against those selling fake online reviews.