With the new Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) guidelines coming into force to guard customers against fake online reviews of products, tech giants like Meta and Google, along with homegrown platforms like Zomato and Flipkart, will now face closer scrutiny of product reviews on their respective platforms.
The guidelines, prescribing specific responsibilities for the review author and the review administrator, went live on Friday and are now applicable to every online platform which publishes consumer reviews.
The new norms have been finalized by the BIS and came into being after the Department of Consumer Affairs received several complaints about fake reviews of products being posted by e-commerce companies on social media and their platforms.
“The new guidelines for online reviews are designed to drive increased transparency for both consumers and brands and promote information accuracy”, said Sachin Taparia, Founder of LocalCircles, the community platform who made the initial submission to the Department of Consumer Affairs and was part of the BIS committee drafting the guidelines.
As far as platforms like Google and Meta go, the new rules will require them to validate the real person behind the review through specified six-right mechanisms which mean fake accounts created just for review writing will go away over time or won’t be able to be reviewed.
For platforms like Swiggy and Zomato, their reviews at the restaurant level are partially transparent “but the process of food item level review is not transparent at all and will have to be designed accordingly”, Taparia told IANS.