Facebook clamps down on fake and paid reviews

The social network will also take down irrelevant reviews.

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CHINA - 2022/05/12: In this photo illustration, a Facebook logo is displayed on the screen of a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook has long taken action against fake reviews, but now it's formalizing that stance. As The Verge notes, Facebook parent company Meta has updated its Community Feedback Policy in the US to explicitly ban fake and paid reviews on its platforms. Users can't post a bogus review for a restaurant in hopes of getting a free meal, or take kickbacks to leave glowing opinions about a product.

The revised policy also forbids "irrelevant" and spam reviews, not to mention those that include graphic or otherwise offensive content. Meta will pull reviews that violate policies, and reserves the right to suspend access to some or all of its products. Habitual violators could face suspensions or permanent bans for their Facebook accounts, and businesses could lose access to product listings and tags.

You might not see a dramatic increase in crackdowns when the new policy mainly continues an existing strategy. It's also uncertain how well this commitment will hold. Facebook removed 16,000 fake review groups last year in response to a UK watchdog's concerns, but there's no guarantee it will catch every offender. An official policy indicates commitment to tackling the problem, though, and could help Meta justify bans when perpetrators complain.

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