SAN FRANCISCO - You may find you can trust reviews on Amazon more going forward after the company announced Monday it was banning "incentivized" reviews. Those are ones in which the reviewer gets free merchandize in return for reviewing a product.
Under new guidelines, "creating, modifying, or posting content in exchange for compensation of any kind (including free or discounted products) or on behalf of anyone else," is now prohibited, Amazon's Community Guidelines now reads.
This means that a company can't give someone a new TV in exchange for an excellent review of the TV on Amazon, for example.
Prior to this such incentivized reviews were allowed if the person writing the review disclosed that they'd received free or discounted products in exchange.
Amazon will now only allow reviews in exchange for goods as part of its Amazon Vine program, in which the company invites trusted reviewers to post opinions about new and pre-release items.
Amazon has always banned paid reviews, though they still sometimes find their way online. The Seattle company has sued several firms that make a business of posting fake reviews to help stop the process.