How restaurants fool their customers

1.4 million false reviews deleted from Tripadvisor

In the previous year, almost 97 percent of all entries were published after the audit.

According to its own information, the Tripadvisor portal deleted around 1.4 million false reviews of restaurants, hotels and other leisure locations last year. As the company announced on Tuesday, a total of 66 million reviews from travelers around the world were sent to Tripadvisor in 2018. Almost 97 percent of these were published after an automatic check.

The other reviews were either automatically rejected or given to Tripadvisor staff for further review. According to the rating portal, the system checks whether the opinions given are appropriate, do not appear commercial or distorted and are based on direct experience. Disparaging remarks are rejected as well as reviews that have apparently been bought and attempts to deceive customers - for example, if the review comes from the company itself.

Even after posting, users can report reviews that seem strange to them. According to Tripadvisor, that was the case in less than one percent in 2018. Of these, 43 percent of the entries were deleted after a check.

The review portal wanted to be a "reliable source of credible information," the company assured. In the past few years a lot has been invested in uncovering fraud - but this is a "daily battle" and needs further improvement.