More than one million fake reviews were stopped from reaching TripAdvisor in 2018, the company said in a new report published today.
The company’s first Review Transparency Report said that 2.1% of review submissions in the same year were identified as fake but claimed that most never made it onto the platform.
The report comes after TripAdvisor was accused of failing to stop a torrent of fake five-star reviews from artificially boosting the ratings of some of the world’s best-rated hotels and largest brands including Travelodge.
TripAdvisor said in the report that it received 155 million content submissions from users in 2018. Of that, 66 million were reviews, with an average rating of 4.22 out of five submitted for businesses and locations.
All reviews were passed through a technology-based moderation process, the company said, and 2.7 million of these were further screened by the content moderation team.
Less than 0.6% of all reviews (374,220 in total) made it onto the site before being removed for fraud and 34,643 businesses were subject to a ranking penalty, which is a reduction of a property’s position within the popularity or traveller ranking. Ranking penalties are applied when a business is caught attempting to post fake reviews.
Becky Foley, senior director of trust and safety at TripAdvisor, said: “Ensuring that TripAdvisor is a trusted platform for our users and listed businesses is a top priority. We’ve continued to make advancements to our industry-leading fraud detection efforts in recent years, but it’s a daily battle and we are far from complacent.
“While we are winning the fight against fake reviews on TripAdvisor, we can only protect our corner of the Internet. As long as other review platforms aren’t taking aggressive action, then fraudsters will continue to exploit and extort small businesses for cash. It is time other platforms like Google and Facebook stepped up to the plate to join us in tackling this problem head on.”