Fraud is endemic within social media marketing and perhaps digital marketing more widely.
Whether it be influencers buying fake followers, agencies running bots to overinflate engagement rates or unscrupulous adtech vendors gouging advertisers and publishers alike with online ad budgets.
Fake reviews are a particular favourite online. However, Meta’s latest lawsuit should make some think twice, especially within the eCommerce space.
Meta has filed a lawsuit in California against a service that provided fake reviews on Facebook to customers who wanted to manipulate their Facebook Customer Feedback Score.
The suit argues that Chad Taylor Cowan, under the company name Customer Feedback Score Solutions, intentionally provided fake reviews and feedback for businesses to game the system.
“Cowan provided fake reviews and feedback for businesses to artificially increase the Facebook Customer Feedback Score and evade Meta’s detection and enforcement against misleading ads.
“Meta analyses feedback on an ongoing basis to understand people’s experiences on our technologies. As a part of this work, some people receive surveys after clicking on ads to help understand whether the quality of the product they purchased met their expectations, the shipping was timely, and to learn more about their customer service experience.”
Facebook takes reviews seriously
Facebook users who receive a lot of bad feedback can have restrictions on their accounts such as financial penalties, ad restrictions, or account disabling
According to Meta, Customer Feedback Solutions tried to inflate its client’s customer feedback score artificially.
“Cowan used a network of fraudulent and hired Facebook user accounts to provide fake customer reviews to artificially increase Customer Feedback Scores, drown out and minimize negative reviews, and avoid our enforcement.
“These actions create poor experiences for people who see these ads, deceptively influencing and misleading our community. This is also a direct violation of Meta’s Terms, Advertising and Page Policies, as well as California law.”
Facebook reviews matter
Facebook reviews are extremely important. Pages with a low feedback score will see ad delivery restrictions or could lose the ability to advertise completely. If you’re selling a product on Facebook, you could see your ability to process new orders restricted.
Either way, poor feedback will restrict your ability to make money.
Scores are calculated using several different factors, including survey results and interactions between people and your business.
Facebook uses that feedback to assign a feedback score from 0 to five. If your Page is more than a year old and your feedback score drops between one and two, your ad delivery will be restricted. If your score drops below one, you won’t be allowed to advertise.
If your Page is less than a year old and the feedback score drops under two, you won’t be allowed to advertise.
If you’re selling on Facebook or Instagram, be warned that Meta uses feedback scores taken from post-purchase surveys to determine if you should have access to commerce features such as running promotions or creating collections. If you pick up a lot of negative feedback, you will see your access to those features restricted.
Here are some best practice tips to make sure you’re scoring high across your ratings:
- Be clear about what you’re selling or offering.
- Set clear expectations for delivery.
- Set clear expectations for customer service.
- Make sure you can meet customer demand.
Scammers want to fool Facebook
Of course, scammers who need to maintain a high feedback score have turned to services such as Cowan’s in the past. If you’ve got no positive interactions with customers, it makes sense to artificially create some to continue the scam.
If you’ve spotted something suspect you’d like to report, you can click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner of any post, select ‘find support or report recommendation’ and follow the on-screen instruction.
Recommendations let anyone logged in to Facebook publish a recommendation on your Page, see your Page’s rating and see recommendations shared with the Public.
If you think that recommendations are problematic for your Page, you can turn them on and off from the Pages menu.
- Click on Pages in the left menu.
- Go to your Page.
- Click Page settings in the bottom left of your Page.
- Click Templates and tabs in the left menu.
- Click to the right of Reviews to turn the tab on or off.