Business: Misrepresentation:Written question - 75295

Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 July 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Business: Misrepresentation
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Which report entitled, Firms able to boost Trustpilot ratings using dubious tactics, published 10 July 2020, what assessment he has made of the extent of the organised undermining of Trustpilot assessments of businesses online; and what steps he is taking to improve trust in the digital economy.
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 24 July 2020

The Government is ensuring that our approach to governing digital technologies is pro-competitive, pro-innovation and proportionate. This will build confidence and clarity for businesses and users, boost investment, and reinforce the UK’s position as a global leader in stable, innovation-friendly regulation.

In May 2020 the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened an investigation into several major websites that display online reviews. The CMA will investigate whether these websites are taking sufficient measures to protect consumers from fake and misleading reviews.

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) prohibit businesses from engaging in misleading and deceptive commercial practices against consumers to the extent that they are likely to distort the economic behaviour of the ‎average consumer. This includes businesses using dubious tactics to boost their Trustpilot review scores. A breach of the CPRs carry criminal penalties such as unlimited fine or up to 2 years in prison and are enforced by local authority Trading Standards officers.

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