More threads by djbaxter


Jun 28, 2012
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FTC Rules that Selling Followers and Likes is Illegal, Along with Posting Fake Reviews
by Andrew Hutchinson,
October 23, 2019

The FTC has fined Florida businessman German Calas, Jr. $2.5 million over the sale of "fake indicators of social media influence”, while it's also issued a warning to Sunday Riley, whom the FTC says had written fake reviews of her company's products on Sephora’s website, and had also ordered her employees to do the same.

Both cases could have significant implications for the broader digital marketplace. In the first, Calas, who had been in charge of a company called Devumi, has been handed a significant fine in what could prove to be a benchmark case for online fake sellers. Devumi was the subject of a major New York Times investigation last year, which found that the company had been selling likes and followers to a range of celebrities and online influencers in order to inflate their perceived presence.

In the second case, popular skincare brand Sunday Riley agreed to a settlement with the FTC over allegations that the company had faked reviews on Sephora’s website in order to boost its sales.

I know of a family business that purchased a certain number of follower on a platform. Do you know if those will disappear or a fine will be involved?
The FTC is cracking down on fake reviews as the public pressure is mounting. I expect a lot more of these types of stories from the FTC in the future. Dm me the business in question and I’ll take a look at them for you.
I suspect this will also put pressure on Google to up its game when it comes to dealing with fake reviews.
I'm not at all certain either. I should have said, "I hope this will put pressure on Google...".
Time will tell. I have a feeling that we will start to see a change in how Google Facebook and others address fake reviews and or listings.
I just hope they don't do whatever Yelp does.

I was just looking at a competitor's Yelp listing, he has 5 5star reviews showing, and 17 5 star reviews hidden. All of those hidden reviews are from people local to his area with many friends and other reviews.

Myself, I only have 5 reviews hidden, but they are by well established people. I have 13 reviews showing and many of those people only registered to leave me the review years ago. It makes no sense.

Google seems to be much better.

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