Govt plans to make anti-fake review rules mandatory for e-commerce firms

06:18 PM May 13, 2024 | PTI |

New Delhi: The government is considering to make it mandatory for e-commerce companies to comply with quality norms for consumer reviews after a voluntary push failed to effectively curb fake reviews, a top official said on Monday.


The government issued the new quality norms for e-tailers a year ago, prohibiting them from publishing paid reviews and demanding disclosure of such promotional content.

But fake reviews of products and services on e-commerce platforms are still slipping through, said Nidhi Khare, Secretary at the Consumer Affairs Ministry.

“It’s been more than one year that the voluntary standard on ‘online reviews’ was notified. Some entities claim that they are complying with it. However, fake reviews are still getting published,” Khare told PTI.

“To safeguard the consumer interest, now we want to make these standards mandatory,” she said, adding that the ministry has scheduled a meeting with e-commerce firms and consumer organisations on May 15 to discuss the proposed move.


The ministry’s Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) that formulated and issued the new standard for “Online Consumer Reviews” in November 2022, barred publishing of reviews “purchased and/or written by individuals employed for that purpose by the supplier or third party concerned”.

With no chance to physically inspect products, consumers heavily rely on online reviews while making purchases. Misleading reviews and ratings can lead them to purchase goods or services based on incorrect information.

The proposed move is in the backdrop of a booming India’s online retail sector. The sector is projected to surge to USD 325 billion by 2030 from USD 70 billion in 2022, as per a report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India.


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