Fake Online Reviews Impact Everyone

Every consumer should care about fake reviews – both positive and negative. With the rise in online shopping, consumers look to reviews before making a buying decision. 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. And 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

With data like this, it is clear why a small business would want to increase their positive reviews. However, fake reviews can pose a serious threat to consumers and small businesses alike. A fake negative review can damage a business’s reputation, while a fake positive review can unfairly impact competition. With reviews now a ubiquitous part of online shopping, the need to eliminate fake online reviews has never been so important.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says it is clamping down on fake online reviews. The FTC, which is committed to protecting consumers and competition by preventing anticompetitive, deceptive and unfair business practices, says that if businesses deceive consumers, they will be ready to hold them responsible.

Protect yourself and your consumers by following the FTCs guidelines for fair advertising in the online marketplace. The FTC has created a resource guide for businesses to help them maintain lawful practices when using endorsements to advertise their products. The guide lists important information about endorsements, social media contests, online review programs, employee endorsements, affiliate or network marketing, intermediaries, using testimonials, and more.