Allowing customers spaces to create content is an important channel in engaging customers to the business. It is also important to monitor popular third party websites to gauge customer sentiment and thoughts too and this source is deemed more unbiased than the channels created by your business. However, what happens when a business decides to post fake user comments and reviews, either to boost the profile of their own company or to hinder their competition?
Accountability for what businesses post online is paramount in order to curb unethical behaviour online. As seen in this article, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have a responsibility to investigate fake reviews online to protect customers from fake reviews by businesses, which negatively impacts the integrity of these third party review channels.
Did you know: ACCC receive more than 10,000 complaints every year about false and misleading behaviour online
The article talks about how a company, City Move, have been fined over $30,000 for 3 infringement cases in 2015 of false reviews being posted. This regulatory action is important for consumers to be able to trust testimonials that are posted online by genuine customers with their experiences.
Chung, F. (2015). ACCC cracks down on fake reviews. News.com.au. [online] Available at: http://www.news.com.au/finance/small-business/accc-cracks-down-on-fake-reviews/news-story/eb8d6c1fc7a2599a4ed4ec26ffe9fb2a [Accessed 29 Apr. 2016].
How can individuals, organisations, businesses and site developers ensure the integrity of content online? Tell us what you think below or answer our poll here.