In order to make it easy for customers to purchase products online, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has put out a suggestion to distinguish between authentic reviews and the ones that are being promoted.
This comes after reports of e-commerce platforms posting fake reviews which are either paid or are posted by users that are not genuine.
BIS has suggested not to take into account the reviews that are gathered with rewards while determining the overall rating of a good or service, instead, they should have a separate rating to distinguish them from the authentic ones and ensure transparency, according to Business Standard.
BIS lays out guidelines stating that beneficiaries of reviews obtained through rewards must be chosen in a nondiscriminatory and fair manner.
As per the BIS suggestion, reward-based reviews should have separate ratings as well as different marks.
Stakeholders have been asked to give their comments on the draft by November 10, according to the report.
The BIS has also developed a way to verify the authenticity of the contact information provided by the uninvited consumer reviewer and to determine whether the reviewer is a "real person," which can be done by randomly selecting a sample of review authors and requesting them to confirm their registration by clicking on the email.
The move will have a strong impact on e-commerce marketplaces, food delivery platforms, and shopping e-commerce platforms, along with a host of other services as all of these fall under the broad category of online sites.
Regardless of whether a review was requested or not, the BIS has developed a complex requirement for evaluations for which the website’s administrator may have offered a reward.
The AI on the e-commerce platforms reportedly manipulates the reviews and pushes the positive ones to the top giving an advantage over the product.
The e-commerce players are removing or moving down bad reviews so that the average consumer won't read them using criteria like top reviews and most relevant, PTI quoted Consumer Organisation as saying.
The government in June said it planned to develop a framework to curb fake reviews of products on e-commerce websites after studying the “best practices available globally”.
This was announced after a meeting of representatives of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, e-commerce companies, and consumer rights groups on May 29.
In a statement released after the meeting, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) flagged paid and unverified reviews as a challenge, and underlined the need for a framework.