New Delhi: The government on Saturday said it will develop a framework to check fake reviews posted on e-commerce websites to protect consumer interest. The Consumer Affairs Ministry along with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on Friday held a virtual meeting with stakeholders, including e-commerce entities, to discuss the quantum of fake reviews on their platforms. Fake reviews mislead consumers into buying products and services online.
According to an official statement, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DOCA) will develop these frameworks after studying the existing practices followed by e-commerce entities in India and best practices available globally.
Consumer forums, law universities, lawyers, FICCI, CII and consumer rights activists, among others, participated in the meeting and discussed the magnitude of the problem and the roadmap for fake reviews on websites.
Since e-commerce involves a virtual shopping experience without any opportunity to physically view or test the product, consumers rely heavily on the reviews posted on the platform to see the opinions and experiences of those users , who have already purchased the good or service.
“Traceability by ensuring the authenticity of the reviewers and the associated liability of the platform are two key issues here. At the same time, e-commerce players must disclose how they select the ‘most relevant reviews’ to perform in a fair and transparent manner.” ,” said consumer affairs secretary Rohit Kumar Singh.
The statement said all stakeholders agreed that the issue should be closely monitored and appropriate frameworks governing fake reviews should be developed to protect consumer interests.
Stakeholders of e-commerce companies claimed that they have a framework by which they monitor fake reviews and would be happy to participate in developing a legal framework on the issue.
Additional Secretary Nidhi Khare and Joint Secretary, Consumer Affairs Department Anupam Mishra also attended the meeting.
Manisha Kapoor, CEO, ASCI, highlighted the categories of fake and misleading reviews and their impact on consumer interest. Read also: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India discuss economic cooperation
The issues discussed in the meeting included how paid reviews, unreliable reviews and the absence of disclosure in the case of incentive reviews make it challenging for consumers to identify genuine reviews. Read also: 7th Pay Commission: DA hike coming in July? Check Latest Updates on Dearness Allowance