Tripadvisor banned from claiming its reviews are real
‘It follows complaints that some unscrupulous hoteliers have posted fake comments on the site to boost their own business or sabotage others.
The advertising watchdog said that because reviews can be posted on the site without any form of verification, Tripadvisor must no longer claim that all of its reviews are honest, or even from real people.
In a strongly-worded ruling, the ASA told Tripadvisor “not to claim or imply that all the reviews that appeared on the website were from real travellers, or were honest, real or trusted”.
The ASA’s ruling, which applies only to Tripadvisor’s UK site, follows a complaint last year from two unnamed hoteliers and a website called Kwikchex, which helps companies manage their online reputations.
Chris Emmins, co-founder of Kwikchex, said that there are a “substantial” number of fake reviews on Tripadvisor, which is being “abused by fraudsters”.
Fake comments range from unsubstantiated claims of food poisoning in restaurants to theft and credit card fraud in hotels, said Mr Emmins.’
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