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TripAdvisor: Negative anonymous reviews by rival brands are policed by our community

TripAdvisorTripAdvisor has said that its own community is the best defence against negative anonymous reviews posted by rival brands.

The travel site has pointed to a recent study that found that 64 per cent of respondents tend to ignore extreme comments when reading reviews, and said that it fights “fraud aggressively and are confident in our systems and processes we have in place.”

The firm told Mumbrella: “We are against any attempts to submit fake reviews and are vigilant in our detection. Our community can and do also let us know if they see something amiss, and we act on every report we receive.”

TripAdvisor’s comments come in response to those made by the Asia boss of social marketing agency We Are Social, who said that the practice of brands astroturfing to harm the reputation of rivals is “not as rare as we’d hope”, using TripAdvisor as an example.

Hotel owners have been accused of seeding anonymous comments about their rivals on TripAdvisor, he noted.

His comments were made after it emerged last week that Singtel had paid bloggers to write negatively about its rivals through brand-blogger network Gushcloud, in breach of Singapore’s code of practice on comparative advertising.

In TripAdvisor’s survey, the company suggests that its users find 95 per cent of hotel reviews to be accurate of the actual experience.

Showing how much influence reader reviews have on booking choices, the survey found that more than half of global respondents do not want to make a booking commitment until they read reviews and find out what other travellers thought about a property.

Eighty per cent of respondents read at least six-12 reviews before deciding, and almost two thirds ignore extreme comments.

TripAdvisor recently launched a guide for users to write better reviews based on a survey of around 100,000 travellers and hospitality business owners.

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