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AMAZON Sues 1114 FIVERR Sellers


anigrams

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Can you imagine what it would cost to investigate, put on trial, prosecute and convict, and then put on probation thousands of reviewers? And then do it on an ongoing basis as new ones crop up, while at the same time monitoring the ones already convicted to make sure they are not still doing it?
Can you then imagine the benefit to society of doing this and compare that benefit with the cost, time, and dollars spent on this massive arrests, investigations, prosecutions, conviction and probation machine?
Can you also imagine that many would not bond out after they got arrested but instead linger for months in jail cells until they are brought to trial?
Is all this worth it to arrest them all? Is the benefit to society worth the millions or more likely billions it would cost taxpayers?
Yes! People must be protected from buying things on Amazon based on fake reviews!

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Would it be legal to sell moon rock if you disclose that it’s not moon rock? That it’s designed to look like rocks you’d found on the moon?

Frankly, this country has too many stupid laws. What if I go to Russia and buy a bunch of moon rocks and then try to sell them in America? Am I gonna get in trouble? Doe the U.S. Government now own the moon as well?

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Yup, i’ve had this same experience when I was a regular on Fiverr earlier this year. This is good news. I’m a writer full time now, and I know many writers have been gaming the amazon system with fake reviews. I’m happy there’s a crackdown. I feel bad for the sellers though–even if what they were doing was against the TOS.

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Review gigs are not huge moneymakers, a friend of mine was making $200 a month with them. However, they are a significant source of income for many people, and I support people making money trading value for value.

Besides, have you ever heard of mystery shoppers? People get paid to shop and write about their experiences, of course, those reviews are real.

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My hypothesis is they will pick out a few cases that AMAZON has already built up a ton of evidence for. Not much to investigate when the paper/cyber trail is so clear. They will prosecute and convict and maybe even give them strong sentences. The others who are still to go to trial will see what most likely will happen to them and plea out to no contest.

As I mentioned earlier the actual probation process do not mean it will be ongoing monitoring. If they take a plea and probation then their only concern may be just don’t break any probation rules and get caught and they are clear as long as they make their restitution payments.

The benefit to society is to reestablish TRUST in the online system of reviews across all the online services once a precedent is set by the court. This is not just about AMAZON the same way the Larry Flynt case was not just about HUSTLER.

Once people see the consequences of what can happen to them it will certainly curtail many of the new ones from cropping up.

I may be proved wrong but I doubt all but the first ones will even need to bond out let alone linger for months in jail.

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Selling a moon rock is pretty much illegal globally not only in United States unless one can prove that a meteor dropped a moon rock on one’s lawn.

Moon rock was an example to highlight the paradox in law or Catch 22 to highlight situations where the battle is lost from the beginning.

The point here is that intentional or unintentional misrepresentation can be prosecuted by law in either civil or criminal courts.

As lawyers are loosing revenue overall, more and more lawyers are specializing in International I.P Protection and Cyber Security and have teamed up with companies like Kroll Inc etc. As they bundle these services and make it more and more cheaper to buy such bundles, there is no place that is not reachable.

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Fully Agree with @anigrams.

Amazon is taking a position and is signalling everyone regards its stance. It will first go after those are within United States and carry our exemplary litigation. For the rest, it may chose the criminal code route and file complaints to set off prosecutions etc. so the economic burden is off them.

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Only difference is that instead of victim of fake review, it will be powerful lawyers presenting a well exhibited evidence of how the dark side of shared economy is causing significant reputational and economic harm to a US company. The judge will be making a choice of fine between 20M USD to 150 M USD and no one will be laughing or sobbing :).

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Guest firedxupp

I tend to agree with you; violating terms of services doesn’t necessarily give them the right to sue, nor does it prove damages. They cannot determine a set sum of damages because there is no way of defining that. Also, if some of these people advertise selling reviews(without mention of Amazon) had orders placed by investigators, I would agree that it is certainly entrapment.

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Fiverr Seller named gets further news publicity in this article.

favicon.icoLasVegasSun.com – 19 Oct 15
http://photos.lasvegassun.com/media/img/photos/2015/10/19/Amazon_Bogus_Reviews_Gasp_t600.jpg?42b0fb247f69dabe2ae440581a34634cbc5420f3

Crackdown: Amazon sues to stop phony product reviews

Amazon is stepping up its fight against bogus product reviews on its site, suing more than 1,000 people for allegedly offering to post glowing write-ups for as little as $5 apiece. The complaint, filed in state court in Seattle on Friday, takes aim...

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Prove it, show me that Amazon sales have gone down because of fake reviews. You can’t, thus there are no damages.

Besides, when Amazon banned confederate flag paraphernalia, they did not care about the economic damage they caused thousands of sellers. From flag makers to sheet makers, ashtrays, door mats, there was a ton of items that suddenly became illegal.

Al lot of Southerners got pissed with Amazon, but the company didn’t care. So I don’t see why a court should care about them throwing a hissy fit over fake reviews.

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It is not about Amazon. This is coming from FTC where Amazon could be fined for ignoring fake reviews. Eventually, Amazon wants to demonstrate that it is taking proactive action to avoid any culpability if a class action is initiated by FTC. Trust me, it is coming very very soon. Then we will all be able to connect the dots.

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I’m pretty sure that class action suits are initiated by lawyers on behalf of clients. I’m not sure why you keep insisting on making this the crime of the century. The FTC is not involved at all in this.
Yes fake reviews are bad. But the damage is to Amazon’s reputation. It is up to Amazon to take action against it which they are doing. The hysteria over it seems odd.
As crimes go this one is not exactly a top priority except to Amazon.

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It’s not against Fiverr’s TOS. Fiverr has a review category, these are not objective reviews, people are not getting paid $5 to say they hated a book.

They might have broken Amazon’s rules, but so what? Some rules are stupid, some rules are meant to be broken. If the speed limit is 55 but everyone is doing 65 or 70, you follow the traffic, you don’t slow everyone else down.

Do you know what else Amazon forbids? Asking family and friends to review your books. Why? Because your mother is not gonna give you 1-star. Fact is everyone is breaking the rules on Amazon, Amazon itself has made a fortune from book writers and book reviewers, so how dare do they complain now?

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"Several states including NY have made it illegal to use a fake video testimonials to gain profit. "

Really? Because I’m sure infomercials are running on TV in New York. Informercials use paid testimonials and video reviews.

Whatever, the Internet Big Shots hate the First Amendment. Facebook already bans “hate speech,” whatever that means.

You say it’s overdue? Sure, because it doesn’t affect you. Learn from history:

"First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out for me. "
Martin Niemoller.

The censorship you support for someone else will affect you in the end.

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Amazon is hypocritical, consider this fake review on a $40,000 TV they’re selling:

6,912 of 7,224 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What wedding?, December 4, 2013
By Jordan Rivera
"I was going to fund my daughters wedding in Hawaii, but I figured this Samsung TV would last much longer."

See? That review is a joke. Will Amazon remove it? Will Rivera get sued? No. A company that doesn’t apply the same standards for everyone is not worthy of respect.

The truth is Amazon has neither the time nor manpower to remove all fake reviews.

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