These days most people don’t even think of booking a vacation without first checking TripAdvisor to make sure the hotel or even destination is worth their time and money. Well, it turns out folks may not want to rely on all those reviews, because they may not be all that honest.
According to the website Fakespot, whose mission is to weed out fake reviews on travel sites, up to a third of reviews posted on TripAdvisor are phonies. What’s more, they claim highly rated bed and breakfasts actually have twice as many “fake” reviews as locations with less favorable reviews.
So, where are these fake reviews coming from? Well, the claim is that hotels are paying third parties to add glowing reviews to TripAdvisor to bump up their ratings. "I would advise TripAdvisor users to approach every review with skepticism,” Fakespot founder Saoud Khalifa says.
- Not surprisingly, TripAdvisor is vehemently denying the claims. “We totally reject the inaccurate and misleading findings [of Fakespot]," a rep for the site shares. "The usefulness and accuracy of the content on TripAdvisor is what has made our site popular to hundreds of millions of consumers. It’s why we fight fake reviews so aggressively.” The rep adds that Fakespot’s claims are based on “entirely flawed techniques," especially since "they have no access to the technical data you would need to determine whether or not a review is fake."