Electronics manufacturer Belkin has caused a furore in the US after being caught blatantly recruiting people to make up postive reviews for Belkin products and then post them on top internet retailing sites.
"A Belkin employee was caught paying people to write phony positive reviews about Belkin products and post them on Amazon.com, Buy.com and Newegg.com," explains StorefrontBacktalk
. "Showing a jaw-droppingly incredible amount of audacity, the fellow was actually using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service to hire people to 'Write a Positive 5/5 Review for Product on Website'."
The story was broken by blogger Arlen Parsa of The Daily Record
and has spread from there arcross the web, putting the credibility of user reviews under scrutiny again.
Interestingly, an Amazon spokesperson is reported as explaining that "Amazon does what it can to catch and delete fake reviews (she declined detailing those methods)".
Time, perhaps, for more information to be made more publicly available by those in the business on how the honesty of user reviews is (or can be) assured? InternetRetailing.net, for one, would be interested in knowing more...