Amazon removes 20,000 reviews after proof of post benefits

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Amazon has removed around 20,000 product reviews, written by seven of its top 10 UK reviewers, following a Financial Times investigation into suspicious activity.The FT found evidence that users benefited from posting thousands of five-star ratings.

Among those who have had their reviews removed was Justin Fryer, the number one reviewer on Amazon.co.uk, who in August alone reviewed £ 15,000 of products, from smartphones to electric scooters to gym equipment, giving five star approval on average once every four hours.

The overwhelming majority of these products came from little-known Chinese brands, which often offer to send products to reviewers for free in exchange for positive posts. Mr Fryer appears to have sold numerous products on eBay by then, earning almost £ 20,000 since June.

Contacted by the FT, Mr Fryer denied posting any paid reviews – before removing his review history from his Amazon profile page. Mr Fryer said eBay listings, which described products as “unused” and “unopened,” were duplicates.

At least two other top 10 Amazon UK reviews deleted their stories after Mr Fryer. Another prominent critic, outside of the top 10, deleted his name and comments, and changed his profile picture to display the words “please go”.

Les FT …

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