03.What to watch out for
Without independent checks, some basic detective work can help filter
out the fibs.
- Check reviews about the same business from different sources.
- Keep an eye out for telltale signs of fakery, such as a sudden increase in
positive or negative reviews over a short time frame that don't quite fit in
with earlier reviews.
- Beware of reviews that appear to be submitted by different people but are
suspiciously similar in tone and style.
- A one-star rating by a reviewer for a five-star hotel should be regarded
- A website, reviewskeptic.com, developed by prestigious Cornell
University in the US, claims to “identify fake hotel reviews with nearly
90% accuracy”, although a disclaimer mentions the service “is offered
for entertainment purposes only”.
- UK-based KwikChex verifies the authenticity of online reviews for
businesses and allows customers of its clients to raise concerns.
We also asked TripAdvisor for tips on how to ensure its reviews are reliable.
- Becoming a registered TripAdvisor user may seem like surrendering your anonymity (to the extent that you have any at all online!), but you’ll be able to find out more
about the reviewer and the hotel and be in a better position to check on the review's authenticity. You can opt out of being sent
- Check the public profile of the reviewer to see what other reviews
they’ve posted. Do their reviews seem balanced and consistent? You
can also email the reviewer directly with questions about a specific
property if you’re a registered user.
- Connect with Facebook friends who’ve posted reviews on TripAdvisor -
another way of double-checking the authenticity of a review.