Looking Beyond the Mask

As smart as humans are known to be, there are times when we just fail to see the whole picture. This is because our minds are designed to give undue attention to the surface, so when we refuse to look into the depths, what happens is that we miss out on many crucial details. Now, such a thing doesn’t look overly problematic until our limited viewpoint starts to cost us in one way or the other. In fact, certain events from the past even suggest a possibility of some irreversible damage. Hence, in a bid to curb the negative consequences within the said regard, we have set-up dedicated regulatory bodies across the board. By establishing a firm framework, these government watchdogs are able to make sure a healthy functioning environment. If we talk about how they achieve it on a granular level, we can just go back and look through the number of occasions on which regulatory involvement has helped us get a better gist of reality. The latest case to do it, however, talks to a review scam from Fashion Nova.

Federal Trade Commission has formally announced a penalty worth $4.2 million for the online shopping platform, Fashion Nova. The penalty comes after Fashion Nova was found guilty of hiding bad reviews on their website. According to some reports, the online shopping platform, along with a third-party review management tool, created a system where every 5 or 4 star review would go live automatically, but every review offering lower ratings than that needed Fashion Nova’s approval. It turned into full-fledged breach once the company went four years without approving any review, which had lower ratings than 5 or 4. Interestingly enough, this isn’t the time that Fashion Nova has been caught on the wrong side of law. In 2020, the company was ordered to pay a $9 million fine over shady cancellation and return policies.

“Fashion Nova misrepresented that the reviews on its website accurately reflected the views of all purchasers who submitted reviews to the website. The proposed settlement puts provisions in place to address Fashion Nova’s deceptive practice and orders Fashion Nova to pay $4.2 million for harm consumers incurred,” wrote the FTC.

FTC’s focus on fake reviews has grown tremendously over the recent past. Apart from Fashion Nova, the commission sent warning letters to over 10 third-party review platforms, indicating similar concerns. FTC has also updated its guidelines for marketers seeking paid reviews, and for the platforms that are publishing them.

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