Tripadvisor removed or rejected nearly 1 million fake reviews

Tripadvisor removed or rejected nearly 1 million fake reviews from its platform and identified a swathe of new sites selling bogus reviews in 2020, according to the travel company’s latest transparency report, highlighting ongoing efforts by tech platforms as they fight to protect users from an onslaught of phony reviews.

Some 943,205 reviews submitted to Tripadvisor—3.6% of total reviews submitted—were determined to be fraudulent in 2020, the website said, two-thirds of which were identified before being posted to the platform.

In total, Tripadvisor rejected or removed more than 2 million reviews from its site (8.6% of the total) for reasons including fraud or bias (39.7%), violating community standards (48.3%) and administrative reasons (12%) like a business closing or a reviewer removing a review themselves.

The vast majority (93%) of fake reviews are culled for positive bias, such as where somebody is connected with a business or has been offered incentives to review it, with the remainder either deliberately malicious (3%) or paid (4%).

In 2020, Tripadvisor said it removed paid reviews from some 131 countries and identified a spike of paid reviews originating in—though not necessarily reviewing properties in—India, the country generating the most fake reviews last year.

Aside from India, Tripadvisor said the nine countries generating the fakest reviews in 2020 were Germany, Brazil, U.S., Pakistan, Greece, Argentina, Bangladesh, Turkey and Italy.

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