Is it illegal to post fake reviews?

theindiaphile

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I see a lot of online reputation management services springing up. Tempted to join the fray but then I wonder about the legality of all this. Is commissioning fake reviews illegal? I don't have a problem with the ethics of it, personally, because I feel it's unfair for a business owner to have their whole brand ruined by a couple of negative comments, but I don't wish to break the law?

Any thoughts?
 

littleg2008

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it depends what country and also what the review actually says.


Personally i would always post fake reviews but only saying stuff like, item arrived quickly, great product, very helpful customer service etc.

not stuff like - this product made me lose 1000 lbs in 2 days or this software made me $10k in 24 hours etc.

So putting it simply i dont use the reviews to say blatant lies over selling the product.

if your doing fake reviews i would always recommend just keeping it nice and simple and not overplaying each review
 

partymarty4870

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I don't really know the legalities of it, but ethically I couldn't do it.

I'm not saying that I never would have done it - but where I'm at now I can afford to earn a dollar with good karma.
 

hurn

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It is not illegal but these days reputable companies are using testimonial verifying serives to prove customers. In that case you can't use those services.
 

TheMatrix

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If you use a person's picture, his name and/or other credentials to post fake reviews, and he's kinda an insane person, he can very well sue you.
 

Espeed

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No way is it illegal.

I see a lot of online reputation management services springing up. Tempted to join the fray but then I wonder about the legality of all this. Is commissioning fake reviews illegal? I don't have a problem with the ethics of it, personally, because I feel it's unfair for a business owner to have their whole brand ruined by a couple of negative comments, but I don't wish to break the law?

Any thoughts?
 

jimmytalibs

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It might not be illegal if he knows and he can and want to sue you. Otherwise i just think it's unfair and lack of creativity, and a person doing this wont go far with it. As his mind is VERY limited!
 

littleg2008

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all the people saying it is not illegal needs to check which country they are in. I am in UK and i can say it is very much illegal to post fake reviews
 

littleg2008

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http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/help/is_it_illegal_to_submit_fraudulent_reviews
 

drac313

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To avoid any trouble, just copy and paste reviews from vitals and yelp and stuff, because those are real.
 

jon_xx_x

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Lawyers are stupid though.
There's no way someone is going to waste time trying to fine you for making a fake review, or waste time trying to prove you did it.

In the .0000001% chance anything happened, you said client wanted you to post the review for him because he didn't know how to do it. Pay customer $100 to agree. Problem solved.
 

TheMatrix

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Lawyers are stupid though.
There's no way someone is going to waste time trying to fine you for making a fake review, or waste time trying to prove you did it.

In the .0000001% chance anything happened, you said client wanted you to post the review for him because he didn't know how to do it. Pay customer $100 to agree. Problem solved.
Ummm....

Code:
http://channelnine.ninemsn.com.au/blog.aspx?blogentryid=728883&showcomments=true
Code:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/technology/internet/15lift.html?_r=1
 

jon_xx_x

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Ummm....

Code:
http://channelnine.ninemsn.com.au/blog.aspx?blogentryid=728883&showcomments=true
Code:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/technology/internet/15lift.html?_r=1
Sorry, I was talking about positive reviews. Of course if you're smearing a company's name there's a chance. But even still, that looks like just a threat.
 

theindiaphile

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This is true. Fake positive reviews are unlikely to land you in too much hot water, by the sound of things. Defamation, however, is another matter and would never even cross my mind. I'm kind of in a grey area, however, when it comes to positive reviews. If someone's Google places page has bad reviews on it, it's simply the easiest and cheapest solution for all to bury them. Yes, one could work with them to utilise their existing client base bla bla bla but it will take a while....and time means money. And who has this?
 

7878

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I see a lot of online reputation management services springing up. Tempted to join the fray but then I wonder about the legality of all this. Is commissioning fake reviews illegal? I don't have a problem with the ethics of it, personally, because I feel it's unfair for a business owner to have their whole brand ruined by a couple of negative comments, but I don't wish to break the law?

Any thoughts?
Why would you assume faking positive reviews is the only way to get them?
 

GreyWolf

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Lawyers are stupid though.
There's no way someone is going to waste time trying to fine you for making a fake review, or waste time trying to prove you did it.

In the .0000001% chance anything happened, you said client wanted you to post the review for him because he didn't know how to do it. Pay customer $100 to agree. Problem solved.
That may be true if you were to just make a post review every now and again. But some agency like the FTC (or similar agencies in other countries) might be more likely to go after a company that's providing fake reviews en masse for a profit though.
 
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