FACEBOOK: Protect businesses from FAKE and Malicious reviews/feedback
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I run a small, but rapidly growing, business. As with many businesses, we were attracted to Facebook as a great platform to build a community of service-users... approximately 75% of our recommendations are made by customers on Facebook, through local groups; therefore, our glowing reviews are essential to building trust.
Recently, we were attacked with a barrage of fake, 1*, reviews, which dramatically reduced our feedback rating! Now, our feedback overview clearly shows several 1* reviews, that aren't even from people in this country!
We were disgusted to find that Facebook has no process for removing such reviews.
If we report them, we receive a response that sympathies with us for not liking bad customer feedback.. (But we aren't disputing bad feedback, we are disputing FAKE feedback)
If we report blatantly fake facebook accounts, we receive the similar response that says that those accounts do not breach their rules, and all we can do is block the user (which does not remove the fake review)
Facebook's U.S. phone numbers do not connect, their email addresses lead to no reply, their U.K. phone number is a recorded message that gives you their email address, etc...
The practice of selling fake reviews as a weapon to sabotage growing businesses and employers, is becoming a epidemic, affecting thousands of businesses across the UK. It puts jobs and livelihoods at risk, which damages communities and has a significant impact on the financial strain of the economy.
I propose that, if Facebook wants businesses to use their platform so badly, then they should look after those businesses. If they want our money for advertising, then they should offer the security of a vetting procedure for the review-system that they introduced to help customers AND businesses find each other.
If a bad review is left, that is disputed by the business owner, then Facebook should ask to see proof that the business has actually been used, by way of receipt, invoice, email, etc...
There should be a way of explaining WHY you are reporting a profile as fake, so that they can understand what you are seeing that makes you believe it is a fake account, and look for the same indicators of a fake account.
I believe that Facebook is not complying with 'the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982' as they do sell services, but are not genuinely contactable by clients/customers/users. Therefore, I believe that this is a matter for Parliament to debate, and introduce measures of protection for fragile UK businesses.
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