Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Edmunds.com Settles Suit Over Fake Member Accounts
Santa Monica-based Edmunds.com, the provider of car shopping and auto information, reported Wednesday that it has settled a lawsuit against Humankind Design Ltd., which Edmunds.com said had created nearly 2,200 fake member accounts on the site to try to change dealer ratings and reviews. Edmunds.com said Humankind agreed to not register users, submit reviews, or participate in its online community; pay an undisclosed sum towards Edmunds.com's legal feeds; and provide information on the accounts that Humankind did already submit and create on its site. Edmunds.com said it is also working with fifteen other review sites, including Google+, Yelp, Foursquare, Yahoo! and Citysearch, who had been targeted by Humankind, to help those companies determine if they need to take action to protect their own consumers. Fake reviews--generated either by automated robots or teams of overseas workers--are an endemic problem on online Internet review sites, who have resorted to various user validation techniques, CAPTCHA and other similar challenges, and more to try to weed out fradulent reviews.