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Centre developing framework to check fake reviews on e-commerce websites

Centre developing framework to check fake reviews on e-commerce websites

This comes after the govt held several meetings with stakeholders of e-commerce sites where it discussed the magnitude and roadmap ahead for fake reviews on websites.

Centre developing framework to check fake reviews on e-commerce websites (Photo: Reuters) Centre developing framework to check fake reviews on e-commerce websites (Photo: Reuters)

Amid complaints by customers against e-commerce websites due to several reasons, the Department of Consumer Affairs held series of meeting with stakeholders to discuss issues arising due to fake and deceptive online reviews.

DoCA stated that after studying the present mechanism being followed by the e-commerce entities in India, it has initiated a process to develop a framework that includes the best practices available globally.

DoCA officials met Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) along with various stakeholders like e-commerce entities, Consumer Forums, Law Universities, Lawyers, FICCI, CII, Consumer Rights Activist. 

The meetings discussed the magnitude and roadmap ahead for fake reviews on websites. Traceability by ensuring the authenticity of the reviewer and the associated liability of the platform were found to be the two issues. Paid reviews, unverifiable reviews and absence of disclosure in case of incentivised reviews which make it challenging for consumers to recognise genuine reviews, were also among the issues discussed.

Moreover, the stakeholders have claimed that they have frameworks in place through which they monitor fake reviews and would be pleased to take part in developing a legal framework on the issue.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution had in May announced that it will develop a framework to keep a check on fake reviews on e-Commerce websites. It added that the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) will develop this framework after studying the present mechanism being followed by the e-Commerce entities in India and best practices available globally.

(With Inputs from Rahul Shrivastava)

 

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