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.. TRIP ADVISOR - 1-in-3 Reviews Are Fraudulent


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Disappointing .. we are now in an era where nothing we read on the Internet can be trusted .. many reviews were always suspect, but 1-in-3? .. purchased through out-and-out fraud? ..with the help of technology and all the opportunities to so easily lie, cheat and steal it brings, humans are devolving into truly dispicable animals.




‘One in three TripAdvisor reviews are FAKE’ with hotels and restaurants buying glowing reviews for £7, investigation finds

An investigation has found that a large number of reviews on the site seem to have been uploaded by websites which offer glowing praise for a fee

By Guy Birchall
22nd September 2018, 3:58 pm
Updated: 23rd September 2018, 12:42 pm

UP to a third of reviews on TripAdvisor are fake with hotels and restaurants buying positive reviews, it has been claimed.

Analysis of tens of thousands of reviews on the site has shown that top rated bed and breakfasts have almost twice as many “false” reviews as lower ranked establishments.


Websites are offering owners the opportunity to purchase positive reviews for a fee

An investigation has found that websites are offering glowing reviews for £38, according to The Times.

Others allowed owners to bulk buy reviews for less money, with one offering 10 positive reviews for £69.

One restaurant owner admitted to the paper he had already posted “a large number of positive reviews” but wanted further help to boost his ranking.

He wrote to a website offering fake reviews set up by The Times: “I’m looking to improve my TripAdvisor account, I’m currently 3.5 [out of five] and would like to be 4.5 in the next month, please let me know if you can help.”


Up to a third of reviews on TripAdvisor are fake according to an investigation

Analysis of the reviews was done by Fakespot.com which uses an algorithm and machine to identify suspicious reviews.

Fakespot’s analysis does not prove that a review is fake or that a venue has necessarily benefited from them.

Many of the venues listed in TripAdvisor’s top ten rankings appear to have genuine reviews.

Saoud Khalifah, Fakespot’s founder, told The Times: “TripAdvisor has a huge set of problems.

“From our database, the mean of fake reviews is 32.9 per cent. For B&Bs, that rises to 41.9 per cent.


The site doesn't just offer its services for TripAdvisor but for a host of other sites

There are a large number of accounts with one or two reviews created by people within hotels or restaurants that have posted fake reviews.

“I would advise TripAdvisor users to approach every review with scepticism.”

Consumer groups say that fake reviews are a growing problem, fooling buying substandard goods and services.

It is estimated that more than £14 billion a year is spent on travel and hotels as a result of reviews.

TripAvisor gets more than 50 million visits a month from users in Britain alone.

The site has flatly denied the allegations saying: “We totally reject the inaccurate and misleading findings presented by The Times. Their claims about fake reviews on TripAdvisor are astonishingly bad ‘click bait’ journalism.


“The usefulness and accuracy of the content on TripAdvisor is what has made our site popular to hundreds of millions of consumers.

“We’ve never lost sight of that and it’s why we fight fraud so aggressively. Learn more about how we do that here.

“The Times investigation is based on entirely flawed techniques.

“The methods used by Fakespot are completely unreliable for one simple reason: they have no access to the technical data you would need to determine whether or not a review is fake.


“We do, and we have been using this data for over a decade to track millions of reviews.

“If Fakespot’s methods were in any way reliable, we would be using them.

"We have tested their analysis, with reviews we know to be either genuine or fake, and the results show it to be completely unreliable and inaccurate.

“We are the experts in catching fake reviews, not Fakespot. Their business model is dependent on convincing users that review sites cannot be trusted. Our site is built on trust.

"If the content wasn’t useful, if it wasn’t delivering great recommendations, then consumers wouldn’t keep coming back to the site.”

Responding to TripAdvisor's comment, a Fakespot spokesman said: "Fakespot's mission is to bring trust and transparency back to the Internet and improve the consumer experience on sites where we analyse reviews, including TripAdvisor.

"If our service saves only one consumer from booking a holiday based on fake reviews then we have done our job.
"Contrary to TripAdvisors claims, we have access to all of the technical data we need to give consumers a reliable Fakespot Grade of reviews on TripAdvisor.

"Furthermore, to express that we are not experts in catching fake reviews is not supported by the fact that we are trusted by millions of users to spot fake reviews on Amazon, Yelp, TripAdvisor and the Apple App Store.

"On Amazon alone, we have analysed over 2 billion reviews and have saved countless consumers from buying products based on fake reviews."


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That businesses have an interest in positive reviews is very obvious, so it shouldn't be of great surprise that some are fake. Generally speaking I find that the internet is the best source of information available to the public. 

Now what you really should never trust is TV. It's every countrie's main medium of propaganda. 

Never argue with an idiot, they drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

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34 minutes ago, brutox said:

Disappointing .. we are now in an era where nothing we read on the Internet can be trusted

Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the figures in the article are close to the reality; but using an article from The Sun as an illustration of not being to believe what we read on the net ... delicious irony :Laugh1:

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8 hours ago, stacksreg123 said:

Generally speaking I find that the internet is the best source of information available to the public

Agree, stacksreg123, agree .. but, I wonder if that might some day no longer be as true.

When the Internet first emerged, I recall a spirited debate over whether Internet content should be government regulated roared back and forth .. a winning argument (by 'Father of the Internet', Vint Cerf) was:   that thew Internet would be self-editing .. that in a fully democratized Internet, information on all sides of an issue would be available .. that an educated population would be able to decipher out more relevent information, dispose of the trash, and draw truthful conclusions.

I agreed.

Since then, unintended and unforseen developments have evolved .. one, and maybe the biggest for me, is the 'educated population' assumption .. jah-he-sus kee-rist, critical thinking is like an endangered skill, no longer taught in schools and now considered as toxic thinking to the more delicate of our species .. that is an entirely new thread!

But .. intentionally and massively publishing fraudulent information is a level of deceit we might not have expected from people with even a modicum of ethics .. just a sign of the times, as we slouch toward Gomorrah (apologies to Robert Bork).

Some of the ballot box stuffing can be neutralized, I guess, by relying only upon ratings averaged over thousands of reviews, which make fraud too costly to perpetrate .. but, as the cost of fake reviews comes down, who knows .. maybe our collective lack of ethics will eventually fuck-up what was once a great idea and useful tool .. maybe the promise of the Internet gets wasted as the darker side of our natures is left to piss unabated all over each other, without accountability and consequences.



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  • 8 months later...

The trouble is it`s open to abuse and it is abused.I find if i want to know some thing,i ask here in Pattaya Addicts.Get more of a genuine answer.

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I don't believe at least 1-in-3 posts on this forum, so why should tripadvisor be any different?   :Think1:

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Truly agree with the post. I have experienced these many times while traveling, both international and domestic. First, of photos are edited, the rating is higher than deserved and most of all reviews are not unbiased. I wonder whether we can trust traveler pic or not. One of the ways to get some clue is if there any video uploaded in youtube or FB, that would give some idea.

These Fake reviews are also common in a lot of consumer and online e-commerce websites. there are many products which are below par but have the highest ratings.


The best way if you have any direct reference like friends, relative or forum like PA which can help to get you independent reviews and opinion.


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Evil Penevil started a similar thread on this a year or so back with regard to restaurant reviews and the quality of info on Trip Advisor. One problem is that Trip Advisor does not have the funding for the staff to look into negative reviews, so they just delete them.

In the Pattaya area restaurant reviews summary the Sportsman's Club was #13, where as Au bon Coin (probably the best French restaurant in the area)  was rated something like #83 and also #116.

Lots of good info on the net, but portals for ratings pretty much suck.

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Internet reviews are fake? Well I never! In other news, water is wet and the sky is blue.

When I was unemployed a few years ago I looked into "internet working" jobs. Everything was either posting fake reviews or posting fake job ads (the latter for the purpose of harvesting CVs, people put lots of personal info in them).

Also, something many people don't know, there is a black market in Facebook likes. If you're launching a new product and want it liked, you can just buy them by the 1000.

Never trust the internet!

Next trip Aug 31-Sep13, theme: try more freelancers, get dirty! Note to self: TAKE MORE PHOTOS!!!

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It is posible, but you can see who is making the review and how are him other reviews

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It can be a worry. My Filipina GF has great faith in any product review that is "on the internet" No matter how much I try to change her mind and show her how things can be manipulated, her faith is unwavering, if it is on line it must be true!! Comes down a lot to education I think. 

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26 minutes ago, biggles said:

It can be a worry. My Filipina GF has great faith in any product review that is "on the internet" No matter how much I try to change her mind and show her how things can be manipulated, her faith is unwavering, if it is on line it must be true!! Comes down a lot to education I think. 

I live in Spain and again it's impossible to educate the Spaniards that the internet contains false or heavily economical with the truth articles, reports and reviews.

They take everything as gospel 

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