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With TripAdvisor now publishing public videos, how can I prevent guests posting their videos of my hotel?

01 March 2007
With TripAdvisor now publishing public videos, how can I prevent guests posting their videos of my hotel?

Travel review website TripAdvisor is now letting the public publish videos of their visits. I have nothing to hide, but amateur films look so unflattering. How can I prevent guests posting their videos of my hotel?

The internet is all about information-sharing, and attempts at "censorship" in other industries have usually driven reviewers to simply change websites and intensify their rhetoric.

Legal remedies do exist around data privacy, slander, libel, and e-commerce, but preventing a video from being taken and uploaded anonymously is nigh on impossible.

Be very clear what you stand to gain and lose before considering legal action.

Alternatively, why not remove potential embarrassments at source and just assume anything you do could be recorded by mobile phone? Many restaurants already embrace this philosophy of transparency, putting their kitchens in full view.

Or how about actually helping customers make their videos? Have a tripod on hand to lend guests. Hook them up with a member of staff who shares their interest in video. Offer them a behind-the-scenes tour, or a quick interview with the chef.

Gently remind them what they can't film (children, other guests). People often just want a souvenir of their stay, but if they've spotted something so awful they need to record the evidence, don't you want to know about it before they go public?

Internet viewers get bored very easily and would much rather watch a professional video than a shaky montage with no storyline, poor picture quality and amateur voiceover.

Instead of suppressing other people's poor-quality offerings, why not make a better one yourself?

An honest and well-crafted video which tells your story will meet the very need which pulls people to websites like TripAdvisor: the need for information.

Peter Fison, Alchemy Filmworks

www.alchemyfilmworks.com

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