Facebook Removes 16,000 Groups Trading Fake Reviews After UK Regulator Investigation

Facebook has now removed 16,000 trading groups which were found to deal with fake and misleading reviews, the United Kingdom regulator said on Friday. 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that after a follow-up investigation, Facebook groups trading fake reviews for products and services still exist after the US-based firm vowed to tighten its measures last year. 

“A follow-up investigation found evidence that the illegal trade in fake reviews was still taking place on both Facebook and Instagram and the CMA intervened for a second time,” the CMA said in a statement. 

In addition to removing questionable groups, Facebook will also suspend or ban users found to be repeatedly creating such groups as well as profiles in Instagram. 

The changes will also include new automated systems to improve detection and removal of misleading content, the CMA added. 

“The pandemic has meant that more and more people are buying online, and millions of us read reviews to enable us to make informed choices when we shop around. That’s why fake and misleading reviews are so damaging,” Chief Executive of the CMA Andrea Coscelli said. 

Coscelli said it was “disappointing” as Facebook is obliged to stop such content on its platforms, but the latter only acted after a year when the regulator intervened. 

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