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AMAZON Sues 1114 FIVERR Sellers


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Wire fraud and racketeering is used against the mafia. A Fiverr seller is not a mafioso by any means. There’s no money laundering going on here, there’s no criminal activity. Bill hires Joe to read a book and write a review. That’s not a crime, that’s a job.

In fact, Amazon might have to sue themselves, I did a search for jobs and look at what I foudn:

Sr. SDE (lead)- Product Review Platform Owner
Amazon Vine, a global program, sends vendor-supplied products to our top reviewers in exchange for objective product reviews.

You really think those reviews are gonna be objective? Amazon is full of crap!

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Entrapment is how they bust drug dealers, they send in undercover agents to make the buys.

But I don’t think this is a junk suit. The problem is Paid reviews are against the Terms of Use on Amazon. And Fiverr says in their terms of use that you must abide by the Terms of each third party.

So I am not sure what you are talking about regarind free speech. Free speech is you saying whatever you want out in public. In no way is Amazon a public space, it is a private website. It can have the rule that paid reviews are not allowed.

If you as an author wanted to go out and create yoru own server and your own website, yes, you can have paid reviews and say anything you want. That is what freedom of speech is. It’s not being able to say anything you want in someone elses private place of business which technically all websites are private places of business. People think being it’s the internet it’s all somehow public.

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First of all, you need to go look what Amazine Vine is, it is not what you think it is. It is a whole separate review thing they have set up. It is not a user based review. Kind of like how someone at the New York Times write book reviews, they are paid a salary. Go look up what the Vine program is. And yes, do you tihnk the critic at the New York Times is going to write a great review for every book, no they don’t that’s part of the job.

But we are talking about are customer reviews.

So no, writing a fake review and being paid for it is not just a job, when the rules of Amazon say that is against their rules.

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It is in the details for the Kindle book downloads and all the other fine print people never read for the sites they sign up for. Most people who sign up with Amazon to publish their books do not tend to read everything or all the links within everything they are supposed to read.

And the paid reviews that Fiverr is defending are the kind that you yourself pay to have someone give you a testimonial on your own website of your own product. That you can pay and have the most fake actors giving video testimonials and whatever you want. But those are not paid reviews that go against the third party website Terms which is a totally different scenario.

It will just be interesting to see how this plays out.

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It’s not a junk lawsuit. I was just wondering about the legal technicalities.
This issue is about harming Amazon’s reputation with fake reviews for sale, and violating various consumer laws. It is not a free speech issue. Amazon has reviews which need to be somewhat trustworthy or if people know that anyone can pay to have a fake review written it will be harmful to Amazon’s reputation as a place consumers can get honest reviews of products. It’s a valid issue.

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Entrapment is constitutionally dubious, and sometimes the victims of entrapment win. It’s not always used against drug dealers, sometimes a woman might seduce a guy only to demand money for s-e-x, then when he agrees, he’s busted.

Amazon is a public space, like a restaurant or a shopping mall. It’s not a private, members-only country club or a secret society. For example, Amazon isn’t allowed to ban blacks from using the website, or Republicans. They can ban people who break the rules, but here’s the thing, Amazon is too greedy to do that. Paid reviewers buy plenty of products on Amazon, not just eBooks.

And yes, the Internet is very public, I get that every social media platform has rules, but those rules are broken all the time. For example, Facebook tolerates a lot of antisemitic speech but they often persecute pro-Israel speech. I have reported people for violating Facebook’s rules against harassment, and 99% of the time my reports are ignored.

Frankly, all this show is how out of touch social media is with the users. People don’t want censorship, they want free speech. They want to be free to post reviews without getting sued. For example, I bought Wolfenstein The Old Blood at Game Spot, then I wrote a review on Amazon where I raved about the game. My review got replied, I didn’t get accused of being a fake (after all, I admitted where I bought the game), and the maker of that game benefits from my 5 stars.

That’s how the Internet is supposed to work. Do some writers buy reviews? Sure. Real estate developers also buy reviews, weight loss drugs, get rich quick programs, all kinds of people buy reviews. Why? Because products with no reviews don’t get sales.

Besides, in a lawsuit like this, Amazon has to prove damages. They can’t do that. They can’t prove that fake reviews hurt their brand. As a matter of fact, Amazon has collected a fortune from paid reviewers. Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99 a month, so if 100,000 people are writing reviews, that’s $990,000 a month they’re making, at least.

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Looks like Amazon started cracking down on fake reviews in general 6 months ago, with other lawsuits that shut down a few websites that exclusively sold Amazon reviews.

favicon.icoMarketing Land – 10 Apr 15
amazon-smile-1920.jpg

Amazon Goes After Sites Selling Fake Reviews: Files Lawsuit Against...

Defendants are being charged with trademark violations, unfair competition and deceptive acts in addition to other allegations.

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The issue started here as some buyers reported of problems with Sellers on Fiverr to FTC (Google It) which escalated into an broader look at whats happening with some sellers.

As a part of the fake reviews, fake testimonials process, FTC is likely to have approached these platforms (Like Amazon) who would have got into a investigation to avoid being fined by FTC for having fake paid reviews on their site after being made aware of it.

For Amazon to establish that the reviews are fake and paid, they need to carry out an investigation which they did here. If the reviews are fake but unpaid or Amazon cannot establish that the fake reviews are paid, then there is no issue at all.

The issue of economic interference applies when one party is trying to sell their good authentically and the second party is using fake and paid review to prop up their ratings. Then the authentic parties are being harmed.

Amazon on its own is unlikely to have done anything unless they were worried about being fined by a regulatory agency. Basis this, this whole situation is unfolding.

My premise is that this is a very big case and the real issue is likely to unfold in the next few days where the actual complaint (s) will surface. There will be major crackdown on such illegal freelance services.

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Have you ever heard of a junket? Suppose Nissan invites a bunch of journalists to drive their Nissan Z’s from West Palm Beach to Key Largo, then puts them in a yacht and takes them to South Beach, then puts them in a hotel.

Now, what kind of reviews do you think that car will get? Chances are they will be glowing reviews. When you treat the media well, they return the favor. Even though journalists aren’t supposed to take gifts, plenty of them do.

The same goes with the media departments at advertising agency, TV station and magazines send them gifts so they keep placing ads on their media.

My former Creative Director got an iPhone from an editorial house where he was editing every Nissan commercial. Blood banks offer people free movie tickets to donate blood. See? We’re all traders, buying and selling.

By the way, will Amazon sue the writers that paid for reviews? I’m sure there are more than 1,000 writers on Amazon. Look at it this way, if Mary hires a hitman to kill her husband, and the hitman gets caught. Both she and the hitman are going to jail.

Therefore, not only must Amazon persecute the paid reviewers, but they must unpublish every book with paid reviews.

See what I’m saying? Amazon is being hypocritical, they’re persecuting the prostitute but not the pimp.

Go ahead, Amazon, unpublish every writer that has ever paid for a review.

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Sorry this is not entrapment. I have significant experience in this area and entrapment is you are seducing or prompting someone to commit a crime. Here the sellers are advertising that they are providing these so called borderline ethical issues and a seller buys it. Its being openly advertised so definitely not an entrapment.

I am in no way in favour of Amazon but in this case someone who has to dish out 10,000 USD to 50,000 USD to settle a case or being taken to court when publically in the news will deter others from going this way.

Amazon is free to bring a civil lawsuit but trust me, it has done under some external pressure (i.e FTC fines). So their motivation is much more than suing these sellers. The want to avoid a larger investigation into the reviews practice which may rake up shit.

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Sorry but you are wrong here. Wire Fraud and Racketering is a fairly commonly used clause for basic low level malicious activity in multiple cases. I can guide you to the thousands of case laws if you are interested.

Amazon Vine is meeting the FTC guidelines in a way that the Vine Reviewers implicitly and explicitly disclose that they are reviewing a product professionally as they have received a free product to own or to review.

The party reading the reviews can ignore those reviews accordingly.

Once again, I agree that may reviews are not objective, but please note that this is very different issue.

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“In my opinion, Jerry is a criminal” you can’t be sued for defamation because “in my opinion” means you’re not stating a fact. This is why the newsmedia uses the word “allegedly” a lot. ”

The word “allegedly” offers the user of the word no protection against being sued for defamation or libel. By repeating the “allegation”, the news reader or journalist may repeat an an untrue statement about the character of a person, which could end badly for the news reader or journalist if the “allegation” turns out to be unfounded. The established legal principle of “He who alledges, must provide proof”, is the guiding principle here.

Neither does the term “In my opinion” offer any protection- If you utter an opinion, it must be based on some sort of experience, objective fact, or other credible, and testable evidence. If in “your opinion”, Jerry is a criminal, and it turns out he is not, you are in trouble. no doubt about it.

The only time where an “opinion” may not have consequences is during expert testimony, where say, a scientific principle is open to interpretation.

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I am wondering what the potential damage here is. I have only ever done honest reviews and was completely unaware that I wasn’t allowed to do that. I saw that there were many others who offered the gig and always declined orders that didn’t agree to send me the product for an honest review, yet I am listed as a defendant. What do I have to expect?

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The FTC doesn’t bother with nonsense like this. I used to have a payday client who was advertising “instant approvals” like everybody else, because the FTC only goes after the big fish, they told us we had to change it, so we changed it to “instant decisions.” That’s the kind of BS the FTC does. They harass decent businesses and make life a living hell.

Besides, Fiverr isn’t the only website where you can buy reviews. There are writer’s groups where people trade reviews. You review my book? I review your book. There are companies all over the world selling reviews.

Frankly, I think this is just a publicity stunt for Amazon, a way to get some press to increase awareness.

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Well, Fiverr sellers could argue that they too are professional reviewers. It takes brains to write those reviews, specially when you want to write a review that sounds authentic.

Just because you get paid to do something doesn’t mean your work has no value. Ayn Rand teaches that reality is always reality, so if a book is crap and a writer pays for 20 positive reviews, eventually negative reviews will start coming. However, if a book is good, nobody will care if some writer paid for a few good reviews.

By the way, how do you feel about home stagers? Do you think it’s deceptive that realtors will hire a stager to make a home look appealing? Is it deceptive to photograph a house in a way that it minimizes flaws such as an ugly view? I don’t think so, it’s advertising. It’s the same reason the fashion industry uses lights and Photoshop.

So what’s wrong with writers doing the same? And by the way, why persecute the reviewers if you’re not going to persecute the writers? Why isn’t Amazon suing the writers? That’s like busting the drug dealer but not the drug user, both have committed a crime. Both deserve to be punished. Without the users, there would be no dealers. Without the writers, there would be no reviewers. Although frankly, I don’t see the crime in paying people to write positive reviews.

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I’m just telling you what I learned when I took communications law. Libel suits against journalists are rare, specially if the “victim” is a public figure. Freedom of the press is sacrosanct in this country, this isn’t France where the paparazzi get sued for BS.

A journalist can be biased, and I get angry when they are, but it’s still protected under the First Amendment.

A review is opinion, it’s irrelevant whether the opinion is bought or not. Frankly, if Amazon hates book reviewers so much, maybe they shouldn’t let everyone publish books. I’m sure the big publishing houses would love that.

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Oh really? So you want 1,000 reviewers going to jail? Seriously? Do we not have enough real criminals to worry about?

What reviewers need to do is get together and sue Amazon, hit them with a nice lawsuit and ask for millions of dollars for emotional distress. This is what evil companies deserve when they forget who made them, and who can break them.

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Well, I stated “If your product is bad, I will mention that”. Not that that would help against the stupid system were buyers can just order without my consent and I have to either fulfill or take a lower rating or that they can give 1 star reviews with customer service doing nothing, but If anyone

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