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Pinoy Freelance Writers Identified Creating Fake Online Reviews

after a year-long undercover investigation of manipulated consumer reviews on various travel websites, 19 companies have been identified and agreed to cease their operations whose freelance writers are based in the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Eastern Europe.

Operation Clean Turf” conducted investigation into the reputation management industry and found that several companies had flooded the internet with fake consumer reviews such as Yelp, Google Local, and CitySearch.

receiving $1 to %10 per review seems to be really appealing, however consumers reading fake reviews would impact these businesses and its future. these 19 companies thus violated multiple state laws against false advertising and engaged in illegal and deceptive business practices.

“Consumers rely on reviews from their peers to make daily purchasing decisions on anything from food and clothing to recreation and sightseeing,” New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said. “This investigation into large-scale, intentional deceit across the Internet tells us that we should approach online reviews with caution. And companies that continue to engage in these practices should take note: ‘cAstroturfing’ is the 21st century’s version of false advertising, and prosecutors have many tools at their disposal to put an end to it.”

read more [ag.ny.gov]

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