Tripadvisor reveals country most likely to write fake paid reviews

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Tripadvisor’s 2021 Review Transparency Report analyzes a full year of traveler contributions to examine how review trends have changed during the pandemic. Photo / Timo Weilink, Unsplash

India is the country most likely to create paid Tripadvisor reviews that violate community standards, a new report from the platform has revealed.

Released today, Tripadvisor’s Review Transparency Report 2021 covered the volume and nature of reviews posted globally, using over a year of data between January 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021.

During this period, over two million reviews were rejected; 8.6 percent of all submissions.

According to the report, the grounds for rejection include:
1. Violation of community standards
2. Are false, fraudulent or intend to deceive travelers
3. Administrative reasons such as closing a business

Almost 40% of rejected or deleted reviews in 2020 were “fake reviews,” meaning they were positively biased, negatively biased, or paid.

That’s almost a million reviews.

In 2020, Tripadvisor removed paid reviews from 131 different countries and found that some countries consistently produced more paid reviews than others.

India topped the list, followed by Germany, Brazil, the United States and Pakistan.

Top 10 countries in terms of paid review submission volume:

  1. 1. India
  2. 2. Germany
  3. 3. Brazil
  4. 4. US
  5. 5. Pakistan
  6. 6. Greece
  7. 7. Argentina
  8. 8. Bangladesh
  9. 9. Turkey
  10. 10 Italy

Russia, which held the top spot in 2018, was not even on the top 10 list, illustrating how paid reviews can sometimes be tied to major events.

In 2018, when Russia hosted the FIFA World Cup, Tripadvisor saw an increase in the number of fake reviews as paid review companies tried to capitalize on the influx of visitors.

However, the keyword in this list is’product‘.

Hotel companies in these countries are not necessarily more inclined to receive paid reviews, but they write the submissions and “sell” them to properties around the world.

In total, the platform received 26 million reviews in 2020, up from 66 million reviews in 2018. Although there were fewer reviews published in 2020, the percentage of fraudulent reviews increased, reaching 3 , 6%, compared to 2.1% in 2018.

Online reviews are becoming an increasingly important tool for consumers looking to make informed decisions, and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) CEO Liz Ortiguera said reliability is key.

“Customer reviews are an important source of information for consumers and businesses. It is crucial to ensure that these reviews are genuine,” Ortiguera said.

Tripadvisor isn’t the only company fighting bogus contributors. Platforms like Facebook, eBay, Amazon and Google have all expressed their intention to crack down on the problem.

Read the full Tripadvisor 2021 review transparency report here.

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