Meta Files Lawsuit Against Fake Reviews and Feedback Targeted at Facebook
Meta is the latest tech giant to take legal matters over the increasingly common problem of fake reviews and ratings on their platform. Meta has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Chad Taylor Cowan for breach of their terms and other claims for providing a fake reviews and engagement service directed at Facebook.
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Cowan was operating as “Customer Feedback Score Solutions,” and using the website cfs.solutions, Cowan provided fake reviews and feedback for businesses to artificially increase the Facebook Customer Feedback Score and evade Meta’s detection and enforcement against misleading ads.
Facebook’s Fake Reviews Clamp Down
In exchange for payment, Cowan used a network of fraudulent and hired Facebook user accounts to provide fake customer reviews to artificially increase Customer Feedback Scores, drown out and minimize negative reviews, and avoid Facebook enforcement. By doing that, Cowan was creating a poor experience for anyone who saw the affected ads, and deceptively influencing and misleading the Facebook community. These actions are also a direct violation of Meta’s Terms, Advertising, and Page Policies, as well as California law.
Through this lawsuit, Meta is seeking damages and injunctive relief for Cowan’s violation of their Terms and Policies, and to stop fake reviews on any Meta technologies. In a statement Meta stated the following:
“Our actions are a clear signal that we will work to protect the integrity and authenticity of our technologies and that individuals or businesses that seek to deceive people will be held responsible.”
“We take measures to mitigate against scams and the sale of unsafe products – including the enforcement of our Terms and policies for both commerce and ads. And we will continue to build on our efforts to ensure our technologies remain a safe space for people to discover new products and help small businesses grow.”Jessica Romero, Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation, Meta
Cowan’s business was set up in such a way to negate Facebook’s Customer Feedback Scores which is in direct violation of their terms and policies. At the time of publishing the Customer Feedback Score Solutions website is still active and offering its services of 10 active users leaving positive feedback for $22
What is interesting however is that CFS Solutions have changed their terms and conditions from the page which has been submitted in the lawsuit. In the version that was submitted as part of the lawsuit, there was a specific Facebook issues section that stated:
“Our system is set up in a way to keep all customers safe from any kinds of bans or problems with Facebook and to this day none of our clients have had any issues. That being said, if a situation did occur, you are purchase feedback from us at your own risk and we are not responsible for any problems that occur”
The above statement is no longer active on the current website at the time of publishing, but the evidence is clear that they knew what they were doing was breaking the terms, and the risk of being banned or penalized from Facebook did and still does exist.
This comes just a few months after Amazon also filed lawsuits against others who were responsible for profiteering from selling fake reviews on their website and marketplaces.
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Dave is a Co-Founder of eSeller365. For over 10 years he has been involved with eCommerce with a particular interest in the marketplaces and the huge opportunities available for sellers when utilizing a multi-channel strategy. After a year of being the UK’s youngest eCommerce consultant, he built an education platform called UnderstandingE that showed the world how to utilize Magento as the “Third Generation of Multi-Channel software”.
Dave has also created a YouTube channel dedicated to entrepreneurship and eCommerce as well as a podcast dedicated to mental health awareness. When Dave isn’t working his main interests include learning and playing Chess, researching the Crypto and NFT space, and trying to find the nearest beach.
Now if only we can get Meta to take action on the fake profiles.