Center to develop a framework for checking fake reviews on e-commerce websites

NEW DELHI: The government said on Saturday it would develop a framework to control fake reviews posted on e-commerce sites to protect consumers’ interests.
The Consumer Ministry along with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) held a virtual meeting with stakeholders including e-commerce companies on Friday to discuss the extent of fake reviews on their platforms.
Fake reviews trick consumers into buying online products and services.
According to an official statement, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) will develop this framework after studying the current mechanism followed by the e-commerce entities in India and the best practices available worldwide.
The meeting was attended by consumer forums, law schools, lawyers, FICCI, CII and consumer rights activists, among others, to discuss the scale of the problem and the roadmap for fake reviews on websites.
Because e-commerce is a virtual shopping experience with no way to physically view or inspect the product, consumers rely heavily on reviews published on platforms to learn users’ opinions and experiences who have already purchased the good or service.
“Traceability by ensuring the authenticity of the reviewer and the associated liability of the platform are the two central issues here. E-commerce players must also be fair and transparent about how they select the ‘most relevant reviews’ to display,” said Consumer Minister Rohit Kumar Singh.
All stakeholders agreed that the issue should be closely monitored and an appropriate framework for regulating fake reviews should be developed to protect consumer interests, the statement said.
Stakeholders from e-commerce companies said they have frameworks in place to monitor fake reviews and would like to get involved in developing a legal framework on the matter, she added.
Nidhi Khare, Additional Secretary, and Anupam Mishra, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Consumer Affairs also attended the meeting.
ASCI CEO Manisha Kapoor highlighted the categories of fake and misleading reviews and their impact on consumer interest.
Topics discussed at the meeting included how paid reviews, unverifiable reviews and lack of disclosure in the case of incentivized reviews make it difficult for consumers to identify genuine reviews.

Sybil Alvarez

"Incurable gamer. Infuriatingly humble coffee specialist. Professional music advocate."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *