3.6% of TripAdvisor reviews ‘fake’ in 2020

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Global network: more than 26m reviews were submitted to the TripAdvisor site in 2020
Global network: more than 26m reviews were submitted to the TripAdvisor site in 2020

Related tags: Food, Tripadvisor, Review

Review site TripAdvisor has claimed it identified 3.6% of review submissions last year as fake, with the majority being rejected before they were posted.

The website, which has previously been criticised by pub operators for reasons such as people using fake names and the ability for people to post reviews without having to prove evidence of using the venue.

TripAdvisor’s 2021 Review Transparency Report ​analysed a full year of data on reviews submitted by global travellers.

It found last year, more than 2m reviews were rejected or removed for not complying with the platform’s community standards.

Fraudulent activity

For those who post reviews that don’t comply, this could result in a content ban, a ranking penalty or a red badge.

The report found 20,299 members were banned, 34,605 properties were penalised for fraudulent activity.

TripAdvisor also identified 65 new paid review sites and blocked paid review submissions from a total of 372 different paid review sites.

Business harm

The umbrella association of hotels, restaurants and cafés in Europe, HOTREC CEO Marie Audren said: “Over the years, consumer reviews have become an important resource for millions in helping them to make informed decisions and never more so than now.

“On the other hand, fake reviews harm businesses and mislead consumers. We urge all platforms to behave transparently and diligently, this is why we highly value TripAdvisor’s latest report that shows the work going on behind the scenes to protect travellers from fake reviews.”

Travellers submitted more than 26m reviews across the globe in 2020 and TripAdvisor has called on other review platforms to battle against fake reviews.

Head of trust and safety Becky Foley said: “Two years ago, we were the first major review platform to issue a transparency report that detailed the ‘what, why and how’ behind our work to protect travellers from fake reviews. We said then that our industry must work together to fight fake reviews. Other review platforms have since followed our lead, sharing more information on their own efforts to moderate reviews; but there is still more that can be achieved through collaboration.

“We know from our investigations that if a fraudster is trying to infiltrate TripAdvisor with fake reviews, then they are targeting other platforms as well - and they will always follow the path of least resistance. We must stay committed, working together and in cooperation with law enforcement agencies, to stop fake reviewers and protect travellers.”

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