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AMAZON Sues 1114 FIVERR Sellers


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Lawyers may be losing revenue, but are there enough courtrooms and judges? I hear many judges are already overbooked as it is.

A good judge might look at this case and dismiss it. Paid reviews are pervasive, and Amazon has tolerated obviously fake reviews when they get helpful votes and replies.

Here’s an example of a fake review for a $40,000 TV on Amazon:

“bought this tv and watched the sweat shops little kids that live inside this tv who constantly running the hamster wheel to keep it powered on the voice recognition works great if you speak Chinese so these wee men inside know which programm you switch over to only cost me 1 lung and kidney , but some how I just feel I’m missing something never mind”

In fact, most of the reviews are fake, people are just pissed off they can’t afford a $40,000 TV, so they write funny stuff.

If Amazon tolerates this, then Amazon shows they’re OK with fake reviews. A good lawyer should make that argument.

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I have no connections with FTC or with Amazon but have significant domain knowledge in this area. I am buyer of services online and have had great experiences here so all I am trying to do is highlight the possibilities unfolding. This may turn out to be a Dud Case (10% possibility), become a major civil liability lawsuit (60% chance) and could become a crime of the century (30% possibility). Those who try to evade civil proceedings may cross the border into criminal proceedings so anyone who thinks that they can just hide under the bed in some far flung corner of the world are living in a mythical world.

Basis this, I am simply outlining the fact that what you see is not necessarily the real story. The real story will emerge in the next few days. I live in North America and US Courts are unlikely to kill this case or throw this case out. Once the case moves forward, how the case will evolve will be dependent on how harsh the courts want to send a message.

Amazon could simply block the sellers and delete the reviews like other vendors do but the fact that they are making this level of push indicates that there MAY be larger issues at hand. An FTC pressure is significant pressure to act (due to major fines possibility) or it could be that there may be impending lawsuit from users that may be coming from buyers. There could also be an impending lawsuit or complaints against Amazon from manufacturers who are losing business citing bias in reviews. By filing such a case, Amazon has taken preventive action to protect its reputation, to avoid any liabilities under any developing or future lawsuits against them from buyers, sellers and manufacturers of products. With the media attention this case has been given by Amazon (CNN, ABC News and BBC have aired multiple discussions with expert panels), the motives of the plaintiff are much larger. 20 Sellers and 2 big manufacturers could initiate a class action against Amazon stating that they have lost business on Amazon due to malicious competitor activity and such cases draw significant and immediate attention from FTC. FTC databases are frequently searched by law enforcements and multi-agency so all complaints sitting dormant can anytime reach an inflection point and take off in a major direction. This is how the US regulatory system works to protect its businesses.

If you read my posts carefully, I have many times also stated that most of the sellers are just ignorant sellers who did not have a malicious intent but there are a very small majority who have such an intent. There are many complaints with FTC where people who think can hide behind a username handle can do whatever they want. In today’s world, this is no longer valid. Armed with a court order anywhere in the world, you can ask the ISP to provide I.P addresses of user and the registrant details of the buyer of ISP services. This lawsuit may be aimed at those people. To place a review on Amazon, you need to have bought something from Amazon atleast once, so the reviewers names, credit card details, country would already be with Amazon by now and if not, the process would be in action. Even prepaid credit cards can be tracked, so my point is that the World is changed and there is nothing called online anonymity. Either way (malicious intent or not), contract law is very diligently practised in Western Legal System and ignorance is not a viable defense in the courts. Once you sign a contract, unless you can prove that you signed up the contract T&C under duress or intimidation, the cases are pretty black or white. If there is a violation, multiplier effect can be applied on punitive damages upto 200 X of the amount earned plus other costs.

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I know it’s a serious case and agree it’s disgusting that this is going on. But the case applies to Amazon’s reputation so it’s a concern mostly for Amazon.
I have reported more than once to Amazon when I saw sellers who were reviewing their own merchandise with multiple fake reviews as it is obvious sometimes. Many others have done the same without any apparent interest from Amazon. Amazon did not remove those reviews. Amazon up until now has shown zero interest in policing their reviews. Amazon has been aware of fake reviews on its site from the beginning. It’s just that it’s more visible to the public so now they are reacting.

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My point is that is that there are far more than 1,000 “fake” reviews on Amazon. In fact, the review section is almost like a forum. You can write reviews, you can reply reviews, you can follow reviews. That’s the system Amazon created, and now they attack it.

Quora on the other hand, is much more effective getting rid of “trolls” and other people they don’t like. If your comments keep getting voted down, if you keep getting reported, eventually they ban your account.

Quora banned my account twice, I always get in trouble when I debate politics, but Quora didn’t sue me. Quora didn’t claim that I damaged their brand. I resent what Amazon is doing. These reviewers have spent a lot of money on Amazon, if you review eBooks, chances are you’re paying the $9.99 Kindle Unlimited requires, or your buyers are giving you extra money to buy their books.

Amazon doesn’t understand the customer is #1. What kind of crooked corporation sues their customers?

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What’s wrong with the affiliate program? I have affiliate links on my blog, I get paid 6% or more when someone buys something on Amazon. Amazon treats me better than Google Adsense, Google is evil, Google will ban your account if you buy traffic, if they don’t like your blog’s content, if you mistakenly click on your own ad, if a competitor clicks on your ads. Google assumes you’re guilty and their appeal system is a joke.

In fact, I’ve seen some Fiverr sellers offering adsense accounts for $5. I don’t blame them, but I won’t be buying. Google only pays you when you reach $100, the last time they banned my account, Amazon pays you when you reach $10. Why is Google like that? Because they want to earn interest with your money, good for them, bad for you.

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I’m really sorry about this, but I think there’s a misunderstanding.

I never said anything about all reviews or professional reviewers being fake. I also didn’t say anything about how much money they should make. I believe people should be paid fairly for their services.

I have heard of mystery shoppers and I always thought that it was a good way to check business on how they’re treating customers.

I only said when it comes to Fiverr (or online in general) I’ve never attempted to sell reviews, and go out of my way to follow the TOS of every outlet I’m using to help keep the place clean for all sellers and buyers. I also inserted a silly observation about how I almost have the same username as another person on Fiverr.

We have a lot of common ground. There’s no need for a cosmic rift between us.

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What do you mean that reviewers have spent alot of money on Amazon, and that they are paying the $9.99 Kindle requires…that’s the whole issue is the people reviewing things that they are not buying and have no right to review.

ALso, it does not seem that Amazon is suing their customers, they are suing Fiverr sellers. Fiverr sellers writing fake reviews are not Amazon customers.

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On Facebook there’s a group for review swaps. Basically, you write a book about prostate cancer, someone else wrote a book about cuisine, and you review each others books. Amazon prohibits this, but people do it.

See? Paid reviews are not going anywhere, the people will always be one step ahead of Amazon.

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Well… I’m not sure if the damages caused to Amazon will be paid by the sellers or by Fiverr. There are too many sellers involved and the costs to track them and suit them in each country are huge.

Maybe Fiverr Staff should not continue to ignore anymore hundreds of Top Rated Sellers that are true scammers and/or spammers.

Let’s remember that in first years of activity Fiverr was a gold of mine for most buyers, but since 2014, when most scammers & spammers (usually TRS) was promoted in almost all searches after Fiverr 3.0 release (most of us though there were bugs in searches), this micro job website lost his positive reputation and grab thousands of negative reviews in entire world. Unfortunately, in nowadays many people think that Fiverr is the “home” of spammers and scammers…

I hope that in the future Fiverr will get a positive reputation based on HQ gigs, but it’s hard to believe…

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Very well said. Fiverr is a great talent pool of dedicated and passionate people who are trying to make a legit living. Fiverr should take major sweeping clean up to get rid of any questionable seller or buyer and ignore the financial motives. Within the external circles since this news of Amazon Lawsuit broke, Fiverr is being discussed as the Silk Route for borderline unethical work which is very hard to defend. I have had great experiences on this site but those who have never sourced services from this site view with the site and platform with suspicion.

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Waw… I do not agree with fake reviews (not just Amazon website product reviews, I include the TV/radio/etc reviews), but… in fact, the fake reviews was posted on Amazon platform because they were permited to post it by Amazon system (why these reviews weren’t verified/approved?).

What do you think about this opinion:

“Taking a look to your gigs, I can easily understand that you can be suited anytime for a bunch of reasons: fake interviews, fake newscasts, fake breaking news, fake anything” a big company want to make your life miserable and takeing money from you.

Please don’t take it personal…

Here are some examples:

"- Even I can be suited for doing advertising, even in a legal way. Maybe from tomorow a social website want to exclusively sell advertising into his social platform, and anybody else to be suited.

  • Even Adobe can suit a lot of sellers here because they sell logos or videos created with Adobe’s licensed products.

  • Even CNN, BBC, etc can suit sellers who mentioned their names on Fiverr without paying for some invented rights…"

Anybody from Fiverr can be suited by any big company in the world that want to get some money from people who can’t hire a very expensive law firm.

Welcome to the new economic industry of law suits, where the riches are robbing the poors, just because they (poors) can’t permit to hire an expensive law firm…

ps: I’m not selling and I didn’t sold any Amazon reviews.

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Reviews have value, there are video reviews, written reviews, testimonials, infomercials, etc. Fiverr is not Silk Road, Fiverr doesn’t sell drugs or x-rated materials or anything questionable.

Fiverr is a great website, one of the reasons I love it is that it has a lot of flexibility. Other websites tell you what to do, here you can choose your gig title, number of days, gig extras, etc. I know a guy that gets paid $5 for 10 words. When he started, he was making $5 for 50 words.

Besides, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Fiverr’s traffic should be jumping through the roof right now.

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