The concept of paying for fake glowing reviews isn’t new. Platforms such as TripAdvisor and ecommerce websites such as Amazon have been at war with business owners offering commission in exchange for positive reviews. Amazon, as just one example, recently revamped their review system and community guidelines in an attempt to thwart fake reviews. TripAdvisor also has very strict policy against fake reviews.
According to Daily Mail, a recent analysis conducted by a website called Fakespot revealed that up to a third of reviews posted on TripAdvisor are suspected to be fraudulent reviews commissioned by business owners with little to no honest feedback.
Fakespot’s founder, Saoud Khalifa, believes TripAdvisor users should approach every single review on the site with caution as – per Fakespot’s analysis – there is a 33 percent chance the review isn’t legitimate.
Khalifa’s company utilized algorithms that look for account patterns and specific word choices that suggest the review is fake.
British Hospitality Association also conducted a survey on the U.K. TripAdvisor which determined that hotel goers do not find reviews to be very helpful. Statistically, TripAdvisor U.K. gets 50 million hits every month and influences how consumers spend £14 billion each year.
Speaking to Daily Mail, a spokesperson of TripAdvisor denied claims that a third of their reviews were fake. The spokesperson slammed Fakespot and the founder claiming that it just wasn’t possible for them to draw that kind of conclusion as they didn’t have access to the right data.
Owner of firm behind fake Tripadvisor reviews jailed in Italy https://t.co/9XAGG6bSQn
— The Guardian (@guardian) September 12, 2018
“We totally reject the inaccurate and misleading findings. The usefulness and accuracy of the content on TripAdvisor is what has made our site popular to hundreds of millions of consumers. It’s why we fight fake reviews so aggressively,” the spokesperson explained.
“The claims about fake reviews are based on entirely flawed techniques. Their methods are unreliable for one simple reason: they have no access to the technical data you would need to determine whether a review is fake. We do – and we have been using this data for over a decade to track millions of reviews.”
The spokesperson went on to clarify that if the methods Fakespot used were reliable, TripAdvisor would be using them. And, in fact, had already tested the methods Fakespot used and determined they were “completely unreliable and inaccurate.”
Hotel chains that pay commission to TripAdvisor for bookings now dominate search results on the website as the company moves away from ranking venues just by traveller reviews https://t.co/nxMykARuMa
— The Times of London (@thetimes) September 22, 2018
While TripAdvisor denied Fakespot’s claims that one in every three reviews on their website are fake, it doesn’t mean the company doesn’t take fraudulent reviews seriously. A week ago, the Inquisitr reported on the closing of an investigation that opened three years ago revolving around fake reviews. Companies involved in the fake reviews received a red badge from TripAdvisor and the individual selling the fraudulent reviews received both jail time and a fine.