TripAdvisor to investigate fake reviews

September 19, 2014 No Comments

The review website Trip Advisor is to investigate alleged ‘fake content’ on its website following complaints from Muhammed Malik, who owns Mr Maliks Indian restaurant in Newcastle. He is reported to be planning to take legal action against the company over claims it does not do enough to moderate abusive posts.

Trip Advisor spokesman James Kay, said: “Our terms of use clearly state that anyone submitting content to our site agrees to share their honest, unbiased opinion, whether good or bad, of a genuine service experience. We therefore take any allegations of fake or malicious content on our site very seriously. Whenever such an allegation is brought to our attention, we review the content in question, and if it is to be in breach of our guidelines, we will remove it.”

In Mr Malik’s case a reviewer claimed four customers ended up with food poisoning following a visit to the Indian restaurant in May and described the venue as ‘my worst nightmare’.

Mr Malik said: “People do have a right to put their thoughts across but claiming someone had food poisoning after eating with us is very serious. We have seen no medical evidence that this person was poisoned and if it was the case, we would take it very seriously. I have not managed to speak to the person who wrote the review which makes me think it’s fake.”

Matt Taylor, Newcastle town centre manager, believes it is difficult to verify whether or not a review has come from a bonefide source. He adds: ”Lives can be ruined by malicious reviews and I feel for anybody who becomes a victim to this abuse, whether from an internet troll or from somebody else who has an axe to grind.”

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