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FTC finally clamps down on fake reviews

by on03 July 2023

Has taken years, but five stars might be a thing of the past 

The FTC has finally proposed a new rule banning numerous forms of fake reviews online.

The new rules will stop outright fabricated reviews to those that are sketchily repurposed or secretly manipulated.

This rule has been a long time in the making, par for the course at any federal regulator which has to negotiate with Big Tech companies who very often “lobby” their tame politicians to stop it happening.

In 2019 a merchant making misleading claims was discovered paying for fake reviews. Before that, the FTC had taken on "influencer marketing" where a person didn't disclose that they were being paid to promote a product. But these bit actions failed to change the industry much.

 Now the agency is ready to take comprehensive action with rules they first previewed last October and have now put in near-final form. The proposed rule results from much research and consultation with businesses, consumers, and even advertising trade organisations that predictably advised the FTC not to bother cracking down on this lucrative business or they would unleash their tame politicans.



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