Crackdown: Amazon Sues to Stop Phony Product Reviews – The New York Times

Oct 2015:

  • A lawsuit in which Amazon accuses more than 1,000 people of offering to post bogus glowing write-ups for as little as $5 apiece might give you pause
  • About 45 percent of consumers consider product reviews when weighing an online purchase, according to Forrester Research. Two-thirds of shoppers trust consumer opinions online, according to research by Nielsen.
  • For example, a half-star increase in a restaurant’s online rating can increase the likelihood of securing, say, a 7 p.m. booking by 15 to 20 percent, said Jenny Sussin, a director at Gartner Research. So a restaurateur might be tempted to pay $250 for 50 positive reviews online in the hopes of raising that rating.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/10/19/business/ap-us-amazon-bogus-reviews.html?_r=0