The Dealerscope article says”
Sellers have found ways to circumvent the direct promotion of paid reviews by creating online communities away from Amazon itself, soliciting consumers in groups and forums on social networks like Facebook and Reddit.
While seemingly harmless, this practice of paying for reviews can devastate other sellers’ businesses. The exact algorithm for how Amazon employs its five-star rating system is a top-level company secret. But at least part of that algorithm involves customer reviews. A highly-rated item is more likely, then, to appear higher in the search rankings on Amazon. And, according to sellers cited by the Post, lading among the top 10 results on an Amazon search can lead to “an explosion in sales.”
You can read the full articles by clicking on the above links at the top of the page. Here is a screenshot of some of the Facebook groups peddling in fake reviews.
Now I have no idea if any of those Facebook groups peddle in fake book reviews.
But there are Facebook groups that do in as much as they are active in facilitating the forbidden trading of book reviews by authors. If you trade or swap book reviews, it contravenes Amazon’s TOS therefore it is a fake review.
The screenshot below (edited) is proof of people on Facebook engaging in the practice of review swaps.
The big question is – what if anything should I, as an indie author playing by the rules, do about this practice? Do I inform the Facebook group? Do I inform Amazon?
I don’t know the answer. What do you think?