Don’t Fake Your Reviews–New Developments
Readers of this Newsletter know that I’ve warned about the dangers of writing fake reviews for your own business. I’ve told you that the review companies, who depend on the accuracy of their reviews for the success of their own businesses, are expending a lot of effort to find fake reviews, and they are exacting serious penalties when they find fakes–penalties that can damage or even destroy a business.
Now things have become even more serious. As reported in the New York Times, New York regulators are now cracking down on deceptive Internet reviews. Nineteen companies have entered into agreements to cease their misleading practices and pay a total of $350,000 in penalties.
Investigators working for the New York Attorney General posed as the owner of a yogurt shop in Brooklyn who wanted to acquire some good reviews. They asked reputation management firms to cook up some favorable reviews. Sadly, the reputation managers produced the fake reviews, sometimes offshoring the review writing to the usual places.