My comment: Fake endorsements are a problem when we want to choose a restaurant or evaluate a piece of technology for possible purchase. Having fake or "bought" or other less than authentic evaluations when it comes to our healthcare is much more concerning. Will healthcare "sellers" like doctors, hospitals, clinics, drug manufacturers use this strategy to drive purchasing. Caveat Emptor. The idea that a large number endorsements improve reliability of the evaluations is certianly called into question by these fake reviews.
Several years ago, the FTC’s Guide Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising impacted the blogging community, which responded angrily. Bloggers under this ruling have been required to disclose to readers of any payments, affiliations, or free products recieved in exchange for a review.
While the noise around blogging has died down, criminal online and social media practices have consequently evolved. Businesses can easily purchase “Likes” on Facebook or “Followers” on Twitter for a low as five dollars on sites like Fiverr. Anyone resorting to this strategy would know that they would be acquiring fake users or users that have no interest in your business, but with the pressure on marketers to perform, paying to bolster a company’s reputation with a few more thousand followers can be incredibly tempting.
Via Seth Bilazarian, MD