The social networking company Facebook suspended 16,000 accounts for selling or buying fake reviews of products and services on its platforms, after the British Competition Authority intervened for the second time.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) also said that Facebook made more changes to discover, remove and block paid content that might mislead users on its platform, including the popular photo-sharing app Instagram, and a Facebook representative said: “We have been extensively involved with CMA To address this issue, fraudulent activity and deception are not permitted on our platforms, including displaying or trading fake reviews. “
The CMA began a campaign of false reviews from 2019 when it first asked Facebook and eBay Inc to check their websites after finding evidence of a growing market of misleading customer reviews on the platforms.
Facebook is also under investigation by CMA over antitrust concerns about the tech company’s takeover of Giphy’s GIF website, as it has come under pressure around the world over its data-sharing practices as well as fake news and hate speech.
“The pandemic has meant that more and more people are buying online, and millions of us are reading reviews to enable us to make informed choices when we shop, which is why fake and misleading reviews are so damaging,” said Andrea Cosselli, CEO of the Financial Market Authority.
The CMA Facebook campaign coincides with Britain’s efforts to create a dedicated digital markets unit within the regulator to specifically look at the ruling digital platforms.