TripAdvisor, one of the most internationally renown travel review websites in the world, has been asked by a British advertisement watchdog to rewrite some of its content after coming under fire from many hotels and tourist companies in the country.
In a recent interview with BBC, the Founder and CEO of TripAdvisor said that ?We are helping travelers get their expectations met?.?The travel website claims it has been a huge success for the past 12 years having given a voice to international consumers by enabling them to post their reviews based on their experiences. Any potential traveler can visit the website in order to get opinions of travelers who have experienced their places of interest.
An online reputation firm called ‘Kwikchex’ challenged TripAdvisor that these claims made by the travelers cannot be substantiated and questioned the truth behind TripAdvisor’s argument that these reviews could be ?trusted?. Kwikchex represented some companies that complained against TripAdvisor for posting malicious reviews against their clients without proper verification. They also suggested that 5million ? 10 million of these claims could also be fake.
There are allegations that business owners could be posting their own reviews or posting nasty reviews about their competitors.
Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK Advertising Watchdog,?launched?an investigation following the complaint, and ordered them ?not to claim or imply that all the reviews that appeared on the website were from real travellers, or were honest, real or trusted?.
The ASA agreed that the site used ?advanced, highly affective fraud systems? and also asked the users if the review was their personal opinion and that they had no personal attachment to the business that they were reviewing.
But the fact remains that there was a possibility that non-genuine content could appear in the site undetected and people can post on the site without their claims being verified.
“This should be regarded as a benchmark ruling which applies to all web sites which make claims about the reliability of their user-created content,” the ASA’s spokesman Matthew Wilson told the BBC.
These changes that were requested by the ASA were only for the site in UK, which now refers to themselves as the “the world’s largest travel site? while the international website still sports the ?world’s most trusted travel advice? slogan.
In response to the ASA ruling, TripAdvisor says that the ASA has taken a ?highly technical view? into this issue and the reason that their 50 Millions users keep coming back to the site is because they do in fact trust the reviews which they read and know it will help them plan the perfect trip.