When it comes to the Internet, sifting through the crap to find the gems can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing – especially if you’re looking for unbiased opinions on retail products. Unscrupulous advertisers have been paying web workers nickels for whipping up false user reviews at shopping sites for a while now, and apparently, bloggers making false claims about products have become an epidemic in Taiwan. The country’s law makers are sick of it, and today they introduced a law that levies steep fines against bloggers and other reviewers that exaggerate the awesomeness of not-so-awesome products.
Consumer disputes have been skyrocketing in Taiwan,
the AFP reports
; while a lot of the suits come from business owners who disagree with negative reviews posted by customers on websites, consumers have also been complaining about the number of falsely glowing assessments found online. The new fines – which are part of a revised trade law – allow regulators to fine reviewers who post false claims online up to ten times the amount they were paid to sponsor the product. That could add up to a pretty penny, too – the report says that some bloggers are paid in excess of $2,000 USD for a single fake review.
Obviously, this doesn’t affect American Web users – or American paid-for-reviews bloggers, for that matter – but what do you folks think of the law? Is it needed intervention or unwanted governmental intervention? Should it apply to bloggers and websites that talk up a product to generate AdSense or affiliate clicks, too?