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Facebook employees appear to have left 5-star Amazon reviews for Portal

The tech giant says it's asked employees to remove their reviews.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
Expertise Abrar has spent her career at CNET analyzing tech trends while also writing news, reviews and commentaries across mobile, streaming and online culture. Credentials
  • Named a Tech Media Trailblazer by the Consumer Technology Association in 2019, a winner of SPJ NorCal's Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2022 and has three times been a finalist in the LA Press Club's National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.
Abrar Al-Heeti

Facebook's Portal device. 

James Martin/CNET

Facebook's Portal has a pretty high rating on Amazon , with just over 4 stars. But some Facebook employees may not have gotten the memo that they're not allowed to help boost that rating. 

New York Times columnist Kevin Roose tweeted Wednesday that several 5-star reviews for  Portal , a video chat device, were posted by people with the same name as Facebook employees

"Reviewing your employer's products is definitely against Amazon's rules. It's also not exactly an indicator of confidence in how well they're selling organically!" Roose added in a follow-up tweet

Andrew Bosworth, vice president of AR/VR at Facebook , responded to the tweet, saying the company didn't ask employees to leave the reviews.

"Neither coordinated nor directed from the company," he wrote. "From an internal post at the launch: 'We, unequivocally, DO NOT want Facebook employees to engage in leaving reviews for the products that we sell to Amazon.' We will ask them to take down."

A Facebook representative confirmed that the company has asked employees to remove their reviews.  

Last year, Facebook unveiled the Portal and Portal Plus amid privacy concerns following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which data from around 87 million Facebook users was improperly shared with the political consultancy. This has led to lingering privacy questions, which may be a drawback for some potential customers.

Cambridge Analytica: Everything you need to know about Facebook's data mining scandal.

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