A research revealed that a third of the reviews on TripAdvisor are fake.
Up to a third of the reviews on TripAdvisor are fake with hotels and restaurants to buy positive reviews, it has been claimed.
Analysis of tens of thousands of reviews on the site has shown that the best rated bed & breakfasts have a nearly two times as many “false” reviews if the lower ranked establishments.
A research has shown that websites offer rave reviews for 38 pounds, according to The Times.
Others may be owners of bulk buying reviews for less money, with a with 10 positive reviews for $ 69.
A restaurant owner admitted to the paper that he had already booked “a large number of positive reviews” but wanted help to boost his ranking.
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He wrote a website with fake reviews, set up by The Times: “I’m looking to improve my TripAdvisor account, I am currently on a 3.5 [out of five] and would like 4.5 in the next month, please let me know if you can help it.”
Analysis of the reviews was done by Fakespot.com that makes use of an algorithm and a machine to identify suspicious reviews.
Fakespot analysis does not prove that the review is false or that a location is necessary to take advantage of them.
Many of the locations listed in TripAdvisor top ten of the rankings appear to be the real reviews.
Saoud Khalifah, Fakespot the founder, told The Times: “TripAdvisor has a huge set of problems.
“Of our database, the average of false reviews is 32.9 percent. For B&b’s, that rises to 41.9 percent.
There are a large number of accounts with one or two reviews made by people in hotels or restaurants that have posted fake reviews.
“I would recommend TripAdvisor users to approach each review with skepticism.”
Consumer groups say that the fake reviews are a growing problem for the crazy buy of dangerous goods and services.
It is estimated that more than € 14 billion per year is spent on travel and hotels as a result of the reviews.
TripAvisor gets more than 50 million visits per month from users in the Uk alone.
The site has flatly denied the allegations, saying: “We completely reject the false and misleading findings presented by The time. Their claims about fake reviews on TripAdvisor are astonishingly bad ‘click bait’ journalism.
“The usefulness and accuracy of the content on TripAdvisor, our website is popular in the hundreds of millions of consumers.
“We have never lost sight of, and that is the reason why we combat fraud as aggressively. Learn more about how we do that here.
The study is based on completely flawed techniques.
“The methods that are used by Fakespot are completely unreliable for a simple reason: they have no access to the technical data that you would need to determine whether a review is fake.
This article originally appeared in The Sun.