The Center will develop a framework to control fake reviews on e-commerce sites, the Department of Consumer Affairs said on Saturday. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), after studying the current mechanism followed by e-commerce entities in India and the best practices available globally, will develop these frameworks.
DoCA in association with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) as well as various stakeholders such as business entities, consumer forums, law academies, lawyers, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI ), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), In a meeting, consumer rights activists and others discussed the scale and roadmap ahead for fake reviews on sites website. Since e-commerce involves a virtual shopping experience without any opportunity to physically see or examine the product, consumers rely heavily on reviews posted on e-commerce platforms to find out the opinion and the experience of users who have already purchased the good or service, the DoCA noted.
“Traceability by guaranteeing the authenticity of the author of the review and the associated responsibility of the platform are the two key issues here. In addition, e-commerce players must disclose how they choose the most relevant reviews. to be displayed in a fair and transparent manner.” said DoCA Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh. All stakeholders agreed that the issue merited close monitoring and that an appropriate framework governing fake reviews could be developed to address the issue of protecting consumer interests.
Stakeholders of e-commerce companies said they have frameworks in place to monitor fake reviews and would be happy to help develop a legal framework on the matter, the Consumer Affairs Department said. The Advertising Standards Council of India has highlighted the categories of false and misleading reviews and their impact on consumer interest.
There were also discussions about paid reviews, non-verifiable reviews and the lack of disclosure in the case of incentivized reviews, which makes it difficult for consumers to recognize genuine reviews, the department said. (ANI)
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