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rampant fake reviews

Virginia
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2 posts
30 reviews
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rampant fake reviews

I hope TA and its users are monitoring the reviews posted that are immediately following a bad review on many motels. Most of these postings are people who've written one review and often live close by. (i.e. "plants" of the hotel management) I believe that there should at least be some way to encourage readers to scroll through several reviews to see what is being said about a property besides the most recent glowing reviews. I just hope people are smart enough to not be fooled!! What is TA doing, if anything, to prevent this process from becoming useless because of the fraudulent reviews?

Chester, United...
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60,489 posts
72 reviews
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1. Re: rampant fake reviews

tripadvisor.co.uk/help/postingandediting#c0

I think you are underestimating the intelligence of the majority of users to think they only look at the last few reviews

Personally, I see nothing wrong with the majority first time posters

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
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26,084 posts
86 reviews
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2. Re: rampant fake reviews

Welcome to the TripAdvisor (TA) forums! Before I respond to your question, I want to point out that I do *not* work for TripAdvisor; as with all Destination Experts, I'm a TA member just like you who volunteers to help fellow members with their questions.

The main thing which TripAdvisor does - as a result of suggestions from TA members like you on this forum - is to display the number of reviews that each member has written right on each review. (This was not originally the way the information was presented - earlier, you had to click on the member's profile to see how many reviews they had written.) Much more recently, they have also introduced the star badges so that you can tell at a glance roughly how many reviews that person has written: tripadvisor.com/help/what_do_the_different_c…

The suggestion has often been made on this forum that TA members shold have the option to filter out reviews by reviewers with only one review; however, the response by other members has been to point out that everyone starts with one review, and some people just don't stay at hotels very often. Also, I think that sometimes people write negative reviews in response to positive ones that they feel were incorrect - and vice versa.

I'm not saying that there aren't fake reviews on this site - I'm certain that there are - but all sources of consumer information deserve a certain amount of healthy skepticism.

Virginia
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2 posts
30 reviews
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3. Re: rampant fake reviews

I didn't mean to question the integrity of ALL first time posters - only to point out that it is becoming quite common that a bad review is often followed by several ridiculously glowing reviews that often include names of staff members and other selling points of the property and nothing negative at all - not even a hint. I also am not questioning the intelligence of my fellow travelers, just hoping new users are thorough in their reading and paying attention to the profile info about the writer. I recommend TA to folks who don't know about it, and I realize there is no perfect consumer forum. But I do think some property owners/managers are abusing the ability to plant a review, and I wish there was a way to track them and delete them. I can dream, huh? :-)

Indianapolis, IN
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3 posts
230 reviews
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4. Re: rampant fake reviews

Trip Advisor would have to check with the hotel to see if the author of a review really stayed at the hotel. I figure some revies are authored by people with an interest in the hotel. Too bad for us that this happens.

Chester, United...
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60,489 posts
72 reviews
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5. Re: rampant fake reviews

You could also argue that when some resorts are on a roll with great reviews they suddenly get some very negative reviews which seem very out of character

Reviews are but one person's report on how their trip went and because I had a great time it does not mean that everyone will and vice versa - I also see nothing wrong with mentioning staff's names if their work merited it

Sanibel Island...
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6,511 posts
4 reviews
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6. Re: rampant fake reviews

To the O.P

You must read some old reviews-some new-some from vetts and some from first timers to decide.

What you are impying in your post happens all the time but it is up to the reader to decide what the deal is- T.A has no shure fire way for this not to happen.

Just because it is a first timer does not mean this is the case however.

Edited: 19 August 2011, 17:44
california
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11,773 posts
169 reviews
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7. Re: rampant fake reviews

FAR too many one-time glowing 5 star reviews given the size of the establishment says one thing to me...the owner is asking their friends &/or clients to post reviews. There would be less incentive to do this if TA changed the formula they have concocted for rankings...because the NUMBER of reviews counts. So you have some podunk hostel or B&B with several hundred reviews while others of the same size have mere dozens.

I never rely only on TA reviews. I cross check with an independent guidebook.

Pittsburgh...
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6,152 posts
77 reviews
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8. Re: rampant fake reviews

I think Sanibel and Flip Flop hit it. Sometimes the onus falls on the reader to determine the validity of reviews, and it takes reading reviews of single posters as well as repeat posters. TA has several failsafes in place to try to minimize fake reviews, but some are going to slip by as fraudulent reviewers get more clever about their tactics. Readers need to be informed about what to expect in a property and be able to understand language well enough to tell useful reviews from poor or fradulent ones.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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47,407 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: rampant fake reviews

Ahhh, but there's the rub, migb, TA actually wants and helps owners solicit reviews. It isn't against the guidelines. No one should review a place they haven't had some kind of contact with, especially friends, but there is nothing wrong having a client do it!!

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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43,121 posts
1,081 reviews
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10. Re: rampant fake reviews

>> the owner is asking their friends &/or clients to post reviews <<

It's not okay to ask friends or relatives to post reviews. However, it *is* okay to ask guests and clients to post reviews, mlgb.

tripadvisor.com/help/can_i_ask_my_guests_to_…