New Delhi, May 28
The Centre on Saturday said it would develop a framework to check fake and misleading reviews on e-commerce websites.
E-commerce players must disclose as to how they choose the ‘most relevant reviews’ for display. It must also be ensured that the reviewer is authentic. Rohit Kumar Singh, secretary, department of consumer affairs
The Department of Consumer Affairs and the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on Friday held a virtual meeting with various stakeholders, including e-commerce entities and consumer rights activists, to discuss the magnitude of fake reviews on their platforms.
Representatives from consumer forums, law universities, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry and the Confederation of Indian Industry were also present at the meeting.
“Since e-commerce involves a virtual shopping experience without any opportunity to physically view or examine the product, consumers rely heavily on reviews posted on websites. It must be ensured that the reviewer is authentic. Also, e-commerce players must disclose as to how they choose the ‘most relevant reviews’ for display,” said Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs. It was discussed at the meeting how paid reviews, unverifiable reviews and absence of disclosure in case of incentivised reviews make it challenging for consumers to recognise genuine reviews.
All stakeholders agreed that the issue should to be monitored closely and appropriate framework governing fake reviews be developed for the protection of consumer interest. The stakeholders claimed they had rules in place to monitor fake reviews. They also said they would cooperate with the authorities in developing a legal framework on the issue.