2023-01-25 10:00:10

How Sites Like Tripadvisor and Yelp Are Fighting Fake Reviews

Logo The New York Times
The New York Times
By Maria Cramer

Third parties pay writers for posts praising or panning hotels, restaurants and other places they never visited. How review sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor are trying to stop the flood.

Oobah Butler knew it was wrong to write fake online reviews for restaurants where he had never dined.

But he was 21, broke and living in his parents house in Feckenham, an English village 115 miles northwest of London. A faceless vendor on a website that advertised freelance work offered to pay him 10 pounds, about $15 at the time, for each review he wrote and posted on the travel site Tripadvisor.

The job was simple. He would receive an email with the restaurants name. Then he would log into one of the four or five profiles he had set up on Tripadvisor to avoid suspicion, look at pictures of the restaurants food and study the menu.

The reviews were always positive (raving was a job requirement) and verbose, he said.

One post said a waiter was so attentive he should get a raise. Another said something along the lines of this place has one of the finest Greek pastries in London.

Continue read on nytimes.com

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