Qype has announced that it cut more than 2,000 fake reviews last month as it seeks to clean up its listings.
It said that around 3% of new reviews have been deleted since it declared war on unethical listings last year.
The move comes after TripAdvisor was banned from claiming all its hotel and restaurant reviews could be trusted, following complaints that hoteliers were posting fake comments to promote their own business and undermine the competition.
After a four month investigation, the Advertising Standards Authority stated that as it was possible for reviews to be posted without any verification TripAdvisor could no longer claim all the comments were honest or from real people.
Qype’s press release took a swipe at its competitors saying: “Unlike some other reviews sites, Qype does not rely solely on an obscure algorithm to weed out fake reviews.”
Instead it uses “up-to-date” technology to flag suspect items and a team of people to evaluate the evidence and ensure reviews are deleted if necessary.
But while this move should be commended, it is also surely the least its users should expect.
You would think that most savvy web users treat review sites with a degree of caution and probably use the likes of Qype as a starting point for their research before looking for further information elsewhere.
With a review posted to Qype every 30 seconds there will inevitably be some that slip through the net, and what of those that already exist within its database of 13.5m online listings?
Have they all been weeded out as part of Qype’s ‘war on unethical listings’? It’s unlikely, but it is good to see that Qype is taking the problem seriously – and proactively.