Centara Hotels & Resorts

Published on Monday, September 24, 2018

TripAdvisor rejects claims that 'one in three reviews is fake'

TripAdvisor has hit out at an investigation that claims up to a third of reviews on its site are fake and that hotels and restaurants are buying positive reviews.

Analysis of tens of thousands of reviews on the site has shown that top-rated bed and breakfasts have almost twice as many 'false' reviews as lower ranked establishments and websites are offering glowing reviews for £38, according to The Times.

Others allowed owners to bulk-buy reviews for less money, with one offering 10 positive reviews for £69.

One restaurant owner admitted to the paper he had already posted 'a large number of positive reviews' but wanted further help to boost his ranking and asked a website offering fake reviews that had been set up by the Times to help improve his standing.

Analysis of the reviews was done by Fakespot.com, which uses an algorithm and machine to identify suspicious reviews.

Saoud Khalifah, Fakespot's founder, told The Times: "TripAdvisor has a huge set of problems.

"From our database, the mean of fake reviews is 32.9 per cent. For B&Bs, that rises to 41.9 per cent.

There are a large number of accounts with one or two reviews created by people within hotels or restaurants that have posted fake reviews.

TripAdvisor said: "We totally reject the inaccurate and misleading findings presented by The Times. Their claims about fake reviews on TripAdvisor are astonishingly bad 'click bait' journalism.

"The usefulness and accuracy of the content on TripAdvisor is what has made our site popular to hundreds of millions of consumers.

"We've never lost sight of that and it's why we fight fraud so aggressively.

"The Times investigation is based on entirely flawed techniques.

"The methods used by Fakespot are completely unreliable for one simple reason: they have no access to the technical data you would need to determine whether or not a review is fake."

Fakespot's analysis does not prove that a review is fake or that a venue has necessarily benefited from them.

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  • Much higher than 1 in 3

    From what I've seen I think fakes are well over 90%

    By Michael Anderson, Tuesday, September 25, 2018

  • Awful site now...

    Such a shame, Richard, and sorry to hear of your strife. I used to love checking on Tripadvisor but now it's such a mess and all it wants to do is sell-sell-sell. I do not post now either as why would I help a competitor? We need another site now that is review only! W

    By William Thompson, Monday, September 24, 2018

  • Fake reviews

    I have suffered from fake, malicious reviews for my restaurant for years, and even when we can provide proof of total lies, thanks to CCTV and our sophisticated till system, TripAdvisor refuse to take action. Reviewers should be required to prove that they have eaten in your establishment and not be allowed to hide behind anonymity.

    By Richard Earl of Bradford, Monday, September 24, 2018

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