Facebook employees have been caught giving 5-star reviews on Amazon to the platform’s smart home device, Portal.
New York Times reporter Kevin Roose spotted the similarities between the names of the reviewers and the names of the social media company’s employees:
Speaking of coordinated inauthentic behavior, what are the odds that all these 5-star Facebook Portal reviewers on Amazon just happen to have the same names as Facebook employees? pic.twitter.com/bF7U8Fj5kN
— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) January 17, 2019
The Amazon guidelines state that “Creating, modifying, or posting content regarding your (or your relative’s, close friend’s, business associate’s, or employer’s) products or services,” is forbidden.
Facebook’s Andrew Bosworth stated that Facebook did not coordinate or direct this behavior and will ask the employees to remove the reviews.
neither coordinated nor directed from the company. From an internal post at the launch: “We, unequivocally, DO NOT want Facebook employees to engage in leaving reviews for the products that we sell to Amazon.” We will ask them to take down.
— Boz (@boztank) January 17, 2019
Facebook lost a lot of trust among consumers in 2018. Inauthentic product reviews is not the direction employees should be taking.