TripAdvisor has published its first-ever ‘Review Transparency Report’, revealing “never-before-shared” details about its review moderation processes, as well as statistical data on the volume of fake review attempts targeted at the platform in 2018.
The report, which analysed a full year’s worth of data on reviews submitted by the global travel community, revealed that 66 million reviews were submitted to TripAdvisor in 2018 by the global travel community.
The website claimed every review was analysed using “advanced” fraud detection technology, and 2.7 million were subject to additional human assessment by content moderators. It added that 4.7% of all review submissions were rejected or removed by either TripAdvisor’s “advanced” analysis technology or manually by the content moderation team.
Additionally, it said only a “small fraction” of all review submissions, 2.1%, were determined to be fraudulent, and claimed the vast majority of those (73%) were blocked before being posted – equating to over 1 million fake reviews that were prevented from being displayed on TripAdvisor.
It comes after A Which? Travel investigation revealed that TripAdvisor was “failing to stop a flood of fake and suspicious” five-star reviews from boosting the ratings of some of its highest-ranked hotels.
The consumer association analysed almost 250,000 reviews for the top 10 ranked hotels in 10 popular tourist destinations around the world – and flagged one in seven of these 100 hotels as having “blatant hallmarks” of fake reviews, while others raised “serious concerns”.
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.”
She added: “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.”