eCommerce brands take note – today, Meta is launching a new Community Feedback Policy in the US, which will provide more specific parameters on what’s allowed within customer reviews and feedback published in the app.

The new policy has been created ‘to ensure that reviews are based on real purchasing experiences’, while also keeping fraudulent and offensive feedback out of view. In other words, Meta’s now implementing new processes to detect false and misleading reviews, to limit the scope of those using reviews as a weapon, and to stop people from trying to scam the system with false positive feedback.

As explained by Meta:

“More than 200 million businesses connect with their customers through our apps and technologies. Community feedback provides businesses with helpful insights from their customers and helps people make trusted purchasing decisions as they discover new products.”

To help keep things in order, Meta’s now implementing more specific regulations on what is and isn’t allowed in product and business reviews, including clear rules against incentivization and parameters around relevance.

Meta review rules

So you can’t be handing out free gifts in exchange for reviews, while the relevance segment will cover abuses of the system – i.e. disgruntled or otherwise aggrieved parties looking to attack a business via negative reviews.

There will be an onus of proof in each case, so that Meta can take action, but if there’s a clear linkage between these elements and on-Page reviews, you can expect Meta to take action, and penalize your Page as a result.

Online reviews have increasingly become an avenue for disgruntled consumers to take out their frustration, whether that feedback is justified or not. At the same time, the value of positive reviews, amid the rise of online shopping and discovery, has also increased significantly, providing more motivation for brands to elicit positive feedback however they can.

That’s fine, within reason, but you basically can’t be paying people to give you good feedback, in the same way that bands should expect some level of protection against misguided attacks.

Meta says that it’ll rely on automated technology and human reviewers to detect potential violations, while it also encourages people and businesses to report questionable reviews in its apps.

In addition to complying with our Community Standards, all feedback people leave about products and businesses must now comply with our Community Feedback Policy, which specifically prohibits manipulation of reviews, incentivization, irrelevance, graphic content and spam.

The new policy is in place for US businesses from today – you can read more about Meta’s ‘Ratings and Reviews’ policies here.

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