TripAdvisor has taken the issue of fake reviews by the horns and is urging other platforms like Google and Facebook to do the same.
“We need other major platforms like Google and Facebook to step up and take the issue of fake reviews seriously. Right now, we are not seeing that,” said Becky Foley, senior director of trust & safety, TripAdvisor.
Foley said TripAdvisor would be open to “industry collaboration” when asked if there is argument for a body within the travel industry and beyond that tackles fake reviews and other such fraudulent activities.
“In terms of education, we have created a dedicated section on our TripAdvisor Insights blog which provides more information about reviews,” said Foley.
TripAdvisor also recently became the first major review platform to issue a transparency report. The Review Transparency Report reveals details about its review moderation process and statistical data on the volume of fake review attempts targeted at the platform in 2018.
The report’s key findings are as follows:
- Out of the 66 million reviews submitted to TripAdvisor in 2018, analysed by its proprietary fraud detection technology and manually by its content team, 4.7% were removed or rejected.
- Some 2.1% were determined to be fraudulent and 73% of them, or over 1 million fake reviews, were blocked before they were posted.
- 34,643 businesses were subject to a ranking penalty, which is a reduction of a property’s position within the popularity of traveller ranking. Ranking penalties are imposed when a business is caught attempting to post fake reviews.
- TripAdvisor has stopped the activity of more than 75 websites that were caught trying to sell reviews. One individual was sentenced to nine months in prison by the Criminal Court of Lecce in Italy last year in a landmark case.
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