Tripadvisor Caught 1 Million Fake Reviews & Here's How To Tell Which Ones You Can Trust

Don't fall for a fake!

TripAdvisor Caught 1 Million Fake Reviews & Here's How To Tell Which Ones You Can Trust
Senior Editor

Whether you're ordering takeout or planning an international trip, you've got to be able to trust the reviews.

Tripadvisor deleted nearly 1 million fake reviews off its platform last year in an effort to keep your trust, according to the latest edition of the review site's annual transparency report.

One million phoney reviews sounds like a lot, but Tripadvisor says it's just a small fraction of the 26 million review submissions it received last year.

Only 3.6% of those reviews were fake, and most of them were caught by moderators or community members within the first four hours of posting.

Of course, some are going to slip through the cracks, but Tripadvisor says there's a way you can spot these phoneys before you make your travel plans.

Here are a few ways to tell the good reviews from the bad ones, according to Tripadvisor.

1. It's recent

Things change, and a restaurant or experience might be very different this year than it was in 2017. Make sure the review is from an experience in the last 12 months, Tripadvisor says.

2. It's not biased

Does the reviewer know the owner? Are they family members or enemies? The travel company doesn't want any reviews where the writer is already connected to the experience.

3. It's not trying to sell something

If the review has links or is trying to promote or advertise something, it's no good. Report it to Tripadvisor and move on.

4. It's focused on the experience

Tripadvisor isn't the place to rant about politics, social issues or anything except the thing you're reviewing.

5. It's a first-hand review

It's not a review if the person didn't actually go there and do the thing. Don't trust reviews based on what someone heard from a friend or in the news.

6. It's respectful

Threats, insults, offensive stereotypes and other hateful material should be enough to get a review taken down immediately.

OK so that's a lot of rules, but think of them more as guidelines for spotting the red flags in a review.

That way you won't end up in a beautiful hotel with broken toilets, at an open field where there used to be a festival or on a hike with a guide who doesn't know the way.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Josh Elliott
Senior Editor
Josh Elliott is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Food & Drink and Lifestyle teams with a focus on entertainment interviews. He is based in Toronto, Ontario.