What's happening? The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) on May 28 announced that it will develop a framework to curb fake reviews on e-commerce websites like Amazon, Flipkart, and Myntra. Why is this important? The e-commerce shopping experience is significantly shaped by reviews shared by other buyers because the customer cannot physically view or examine a product. But paid reviews, reviews by people who haven't bought that product, and the absence of disclosure in case of incentivised reviews make it challenging for consumers to recognise genuine reviews and harm consumer interests. As a result, the right to be informed, which is a consumer right under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, is violated. “Traceability by ensuring the authenticity of the reviewer and the associated liability of the platform are the two key issues here. Also e-com players must disclose as to how they choose the “most relevant reviews” for display in a fair and transparent manner." — Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary Department of Consumer Affairs Meeting held with relevant stakeholders: Prior to announcing the decision to develop a framework, DoCA in association with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) held a meeting with relevant stakeholders on May 27 to better understand the issue and to prepare a road map. E-commerce entities like Flipkart, Amazon, Tata Sons, Reliance Retail, consumer forums, law universities, lawyers, FICCI, CII, and consumer rights activists, among others, were expected to participate in the meeting according to a press release. "All stakeholders agreed that the issue deserves to be monitored…
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