A couple of years ago, there was a bit of a stir in the film industry about manufactured critic quotes being used in trailers and DVD releases to deceive audiences. And while the studios took some flack, no major legal battles ensued that we’re aware of.
Now, fake reviews of a different sort are the focus of an initiative by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo - and the beauty industry is up first. The AG’s office has recently been going after websites that post phony consumer reviews and comments about their products and procedures. It’s referred to as “astroturfing”, referencing the fake surface used on sporting fields.
A settlement has now been reached in the first case against a company called Lifestyle Lift which offers a “face-firming” procedure where they’ve agreed to pay $300,000 to the state of New York.
Like with any website that allows reader input and interaction, it’s difficult to discern which reviews/comments are legit and honest and which are bogus. But you know something’s up when the company sends an email out to its staff that reads “Friday is going to be a slow day – I need you to devote the day to doing more postings on the web as a satisfied client.” We’re guessing this was a key email in getting that settlement.
Cuomo’s crew is not stopping anytime soon. So fakers beware.
How do you guys judge what you trust and what you don’t? I usually am of the mentality that if something sounds way too good to be true, it often is.
And you know how we are around here, if one of us has something to say, you’ll know whose opinion you’re reading.