, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Bans Reviews Made In Exchange For Free Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has issued a ban on product reviews made in exchange for free products following a study that indicated that such reviews are highly biased.

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The company stated that the ban is part of an update to its terms and services. The move is aimed at discouraging misleading product reviews because people tend to be dishonest about products that they get for free. Amazon wants to encourage a culture of honest reviews that will give shoppers more confidence when purchasing products from the e-commerce website. The firm erected the ban on Monday to get rid of what it calls “incentivized reviews.”

“Our community guidelines have always prohibited compensation for reviews, with an exception – reviewers could post a review in exchange for a free or discounted product as long as they disclosed that fact,” stated the company on its website.

Despite the announcement, the company will not bring down the incentivized reviews that already exist on the website. It also means that booksellers will still be able to give advanced book reviews. Amazon has also sued individuals and providers that offer incentivized reviews.

The decision to place a ban on such reviews was most likely fueled by the research findings of a study by ReviewMeta. The study involved an analysis of 7 million reviews which revealed that the average incentivized review has higher points than a regular review. The study also pointed out that the authors of incentivized reviews were less likely to give a one-star review. Their overall reviews are usually positive.

The report from ReviewMeta also stated that it is clear that some customers have grown more distrustful about reviews. The report also states that the problem has grown at an alarming rate.

“Two years ago, incentivized reviews accounted for less than two percent of new reviews. Since February of this year, they make up the majority of all new reviews on Amazon,” stated ReviewMeta.

Amazon stock closed the latest trading session at $834.03 down by $2.71 or 0.32% compared to the price of the stock in the previous trading session.

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