To make online engagement and e-commerce more real and less deceptive for customers, the Government of India initiated a campaign against bogus reviews and unverified ratings.
The government has set up a system for businesses like Google, Facebook and Meta Platform, Amazon.com, travel websites, and food delivery applications that rely on customer evaluations to verify goods and services. Sales and interest from prospective customers are increased by favourable ratings.
But often, the brand displays fake reviews that are consistently positive about the goods and services, and this undoubtedly influences the user’s purchasing choice. Consumers and other industry professionals have criticised some businesses for suppressing bad reviews or accepting fake ratings, which makes the due diligence process for buyers challenging.
According to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, the Department of Consumer Affairs established a committee in June to create a framework for identifying fraudulent and misleading reviews in e-commerce.
The founder of LocalCircles, a community platform and pollster that made the initial submission to the Department of Consumer Affairs and participated in the committee drafting the guidelines, Sachin Taparia, stated that the new rules for online reviews are “designed to drive increased transparency for both consumers and brands and promote information accuracy.”
According to Taparia, “the new regulations will force platforms like Google and Facebook to verify the genuine person behind the review by established 6-8 procedures, meaning fraudulent accounts created only for review authoring will eventually disappear or won’t be allowed to review.
He further notes that if the standards are made mandatory, businesses may be held liable for unfair business practices, the suppression of bad reviews, or the facilitation of the planting of false reviews.
“This should not be bulldozed, please. We shall first observe that these rules are being followed voluntarily. And should the threat persist, we may make this a requirement “Reporters in New Delhi were warned by Rohit Kumar Singh, secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs. However, there are no proper information about the draft framework yet. We will update you if the law gets imposed officially.