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Fake online reviews: Tripadvisor faces a 500,000 euro fine

30 days to pay the fine



For having maintained comments posted by professionals pretending to be tourists, the website Tripadvisor has just been ordered to pay a 500,000 euro fine.


Rédigé par Mathilde Khlat translated by Joséphine Foucher le Mercredi 24 Décembre 2014

In Italy, the website was denounced on December 22, 2014 of falsely making consumers believe that comments had been written by tourists whereas some of them were posted by professionals - DR Tripadvisor
In Italy, the website was denounced on December 22, 2014 of falsely making consumers believe that comments had been written by tourists whereas some of them were posted by professionals - DR Tripadvisor
Privilege one’s company for a marketing push. Cheating with fake comments on Tripadvisor. The Italian authority in charge of overseeing fair competition was not pleased at all.

It announced that it imposed a 500,000 euro fine on Tripadvisor.

The website was denounced on December 22, 2014 for making consumers believe that comments were coming from tourists whereas some of them were posted by professionals.

Commanded by various consumer associations, the authority that guarantees fair competition and market (AGCM) estimated that the American website and its Italian branch were not sufficiently honest with Internet users, misleading them, and influencing their purchasing actions.

Advertising material that doesn’t reflect reality

TripAdvisor presents itself “particularly affirmatively, by insisting on the authentic and sincere nature of the comments which leads consumers to think that the informations are always reliable in the sense that they express real touristic experiences,” claims AGCM in an article published in Echos.

Last December 18th, the founder of Tripadviser Stephen Kaufer expresses in the journal’s columns that: “Our technology enables us to detect fake reviews. Our success is founded on the trust of internet users.”

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