TripAdvisor published its inaugural ‘2019 TripAdvisor Review Transparency Report‘ on September 17. The report provides insight into the moderation processes and key data for reviews submitted to the platform around the world between January and December 2018.
100% of reviews submitted to TripAdvisor pass through an advanced moderation process.
In 2018, TripAdvisor received 155 million content submissions from users. Of those, 66 million were reviews. 53% of these reviews where for locations in Europe, 23% in North America, 15% in Asia, 5% in South America, and 4% in the Middle East, Africa and Antarctica.
4.7% i.e around 3.1 million of all review submissions were rejected or removed by either the advanced analysis technology or manually by the content moderation team. Of those 3.1 million, 2.2 million of all submissions were rejected before they were posted on TripAdvisor. The remaining 0.85 million of all the submissions were removed after they were posted on TripAdvisor.
2.1% i.e around 1.3 million of all the review submissions were determined to be fraudulent. 73% of such submissions were blocked ever before they got posted.
81% of all the reviews that got successfully posted on TripAdvisor had ratings 4 or 5; just 10% had ratings of 2 or 1.
Around 3,74,220 of all review submissions made it into TripAdvisor before being removed for fraud.
TripAdvisor employs hundreds of content analysts globally, working 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on the platform, including analysts fluent in all 28 languages that the platform supports.
When a review is reported by the community, the moderation team tries to resolve it as quickly as possible. Last year, the majority (79%) of moderation assessments on reported reviews were conducted within 6 hours of the report.
Out of the 2.1% fraudulent or fake reviews, 91% of all the reviews were identified as ‘Biased positive reviews’, 6% of the reviews were identified as ‘biased negative reviews’, and 3% of the reviews were marked ‘paid reviews’. All these reviews were removed by TripAdvisor.
The report also mentioned that though fake reviews originate from every country and continent, most of the fake reviews in 2018 originated from Russia compared to other countries. India, European countries and the United States are the other source locations of paid reviews.
Fraudulent and fake reviews are penalized by TripAdvisor through content banning (for individuals) and ranking penalty on the listing (for businesses).
In 2018, 34,643 businesses out of the 8+ million locations listed on TripAdvisor received at least one ranking penalty. But 24% of these businesses continued to operate fraudulent reviews even after imposing ranking penalty. Repeated offenders are imposed with the most severed penalty ‘red penalty badge‘ that warns travellers about suspicious review activity spotted in relation to that business.
With this report, TripAdvisor has shown its commitment to the integrity of the review platform. TripAdvisor is planning to partner with law enforcement agencies to tackle online fake reviews. The company has also planned to invest further in training for human moderation teams.
This is an excerpt from the ‘2019 TripAdvisor Review Transparency Report’.