Government calls meeting on ‘Quality Control Order’ to curb fake online reviews

The government has called a meeting with e-commerce players and organizations engaged in publishing online reviews. This meeting is for consultation on a proposed quality control order aimed at checking fake reviews.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry has also released a draft of the Online Consumer Reviews (Quality Control) Order, 2024 (QCO). The draft proposes that reviews should be accepted only from verified purchasers and users of the product.


According to a notice issued by the ministry, “This QCO mandates all the e-commerce aggregators and organizations engaged in publishing online reviews to declare self-compliance to the essential requirements prescribed in the order.”

The notice further states, “An organization is required to register with BIS and declare compliance to essential requirements. In this regard, a stakeholder consultation, chaired by Secretary (CA), to discuss the draft QCO has been scheduled on May 15, 2024.”

The draft QCO mandates that organizations shall not publish reviews that have been purchased and written by individuals employed for writing reviews, either by the organization itself, the supplier, seller, or a third party.

The consumer affairs ministry has proposed that all organizations managing and publishing online consumer reviews must conform to the essential requirements. These include a bar on publishing fake reviews and registering themselves as ‘Review Administrators’ with BIS, declaring self-compliance to the prescribed essential requirements.

The proposed QCO also bars platforms from rewarding consumers based on the content, editing reviews, preventing the publishing of negative reviews, and accepting reviews from individuals who have not used or experienced the good or service.