Framework on the anvil to curb fake reviews on e-commerce sites

To protect consumer interests, the Center will develop a framework to control fake reviews on e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart.

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) will prepare the framework after studying the current mechanism followed by other e-commerce companies and “best practices available around the world,” the Department of Consumer Affairs said in a statement on Saturday.

The decision comes after the ministry and the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) held a virtual meeting on Friday with e-commerce companies, as well as other stakeholders, to discuss the scope and roadmap. ahead for the fake reviews on these websites.

Nidhi Khare, Additional Secretary, and Anupam Mishra, DoCA Joint Secretary also attended the meeting.

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According to an official statement, issues discussed at Friday’s meeting included how paid reviews, unverifiable reviews, and the lack of disclosure in the case of incentivized reviews make it difficult for consumers to recognize authentic reviews.

Shopping on e-commerce sites does not allow users to physically examine a product, which means consumers rely heavily on product reviews before making a purchase decision.

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“Traceability by guaranteeing the authenticity of the examiner and the associated responsibility of the platform are the two key issues here. Electronic communicators must also disclose how they choose the “most relevant notices” to display in a fair and transparent manner,” said DoCA Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh.

E-commerce entities participating in the virtual meeting “agreed that the matter warranted close monitoring” and also claimed that they had frameworks in place by which they monitored fake reviews on their sites, said the Ministry.

Businesses have also expressed interest in engaging with the government to develop the framework, he added.