Amazon, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Glassdoor, Tripadvisor, and Trustpilot announced they have teamed up to launch the global Coalition for Trusted Reviews, a cross-industry collaboration committed to protecting access to trustworthy consumer reviews worldwide. Together, members will define best practices for hosting online reviews and sharing methods of fake-review detection, aiming to stop fake reviews at the source.
Companies met a year ago, in October 2022, in San Francisco at the first-ever Fake Reviews Conference, organised by Tripadvisor. Attendees heard from experts in government, academia and the industry at large on common challenges and potential mitigation approaches related to the issue of fake reviews. This resulted in the establishment of a formal coalition to collaborate on public education and ongoing information sharing between members, in an effort to decrease review fraud.
The group has agreed to engage in several key areas to protect consumers and partners from fake reviews, working to help ensure the public is not misled by fraudulent content, including:
- Industry alignment: Developing common standards and definitions for use throughout the industry around what constitutes a fake review and other content moderation nomenclature and measurement.
- Best practice sharing: Defining best practices for hosting online reviews and sharing information on updated content moderation process and methods of fake review detection.
- Information sharing: Sharing information relating to how fraudulent actors operate, such as companies selling fake reviews to businesses seeking to unfairly and improperly improve their reputations.
- Advocacy: Engaging with academics and public policy leaders to promote the benefits to consumers of review content and support industry efforts to combat fake reviews from being published.
The coalition is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability. Through collaborative initiatives, they aim to set new standards for maintaining the authenticity of reviews, instilling confidence in consumers worldwide. Coalition members will next meet in Brussels on December 5-6 at the second Fake Reviews Conference, organised by Amazon.
“Customer reviews are an important part of the shopping experience, and the goal of this coalition is to ensure every review reflects customers’ actual experiences,” said Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s Vice President of Worldwide Selling Partner Services. “Amazon is aggressively fighting fake review brokers to protect our customers and selling partners, but these fraudsters are a global problem, impacting multiple industry sectors. Through greater collaboration and sharing across industries, including information on fraudsters’ tactics and how they operate, we can more effectively shut down fraudulent review activity, deter other bad actors from attempting to game our systems, and protect more consumers.”
“With more than 292 million verified reviews from real guests on our platform, we are actively invested in ensuring the ongoing credibility of our program, both for travelers and our partners,” said Spencer Mott, Chief Security Officer at Booking.com. “From machine learning fraud detection models to custom-made tooling for our teams of experienced moderators, we are continuously enhancing our efforts, including through collaborating with this coalition of like minded platforms. Together we can explore best practices and learn from each other, thereby increasing awareness across the industry to the benefit of an even wider array of consumers and businesses.”
“Authentic reviews are crucial for travellers when booking accommodations, destinations, and experiences," said CJ Allen, Vice President, Marketplace Experience & Trust, Expedia Group. "We use technology not only to detect fraudulent postings but also to implement a human touch, further validating the honesty and transparency of reviews. Expedia Group takes pride in participating in this coalition to combat these fake actors, who pose a direct threat to our industry's most valuable asset: trust.”
“Job seekers rely on the integrity and authenticity of anonymous reviews and ratings on Glassdoor to confidently make decisions about jobs and companies to work for,” said Cara Barry, Glassdoor Director of Content and Community. “Glassdoor’s moderation team is constantly evolving our multi-tier technological and human review processes to prevent fake reviews on our platform, but we recognise that we must continue to innovate with new approaches. We look forward to closer collaboration with our industry partners to create new frameworks to mitigate fake reviews and maintain trust in content on Glassdoor and elsewhere online.”
“The trust that consumers and partners have in our platforms and businesses is a top priority for the members of this coalition, all of whom agreed to join together to fight fake review content on the Internet. To further maintain the credibility and authenticity of reviews on our platforms, we aim to make it increasingly difficult for fraudulent actors who try to deceive our customers to operate online,” said Becky Foley, Vice President, Trust & Safety, Tripadvisor, Inc. “Combating these operators, particularly those attempting to sell fake reviews to companies looking to improve their online reputations, will be an immediate area of focus. These actors often operate outside of jurisdictions with a legal framework to shut down fraudulent activity, making robust cooperation even more important.”
“Trust is at the heart of every decision consumers make to buy products and services, especially online. Reviews help to fuel confidence, which makes it imperative that consumers can rely on the reviews they read, and know that they are genuine and authentic," said Carolyn Jameson, Chief Trust and Consumer Officer at Trustpilot. “At Trustpilot we’re always innovating, searching for different avenues to take on fake-review sellers and businesses who try to manipulate feedback written about them. Greater collaboration and sharing of ideas across the reviews industry, through the Coalition for Trusted Reviews will undoubtedly be a major boost in the global fight against fraud and deception as we work to combat those who seek to undermine trust online.”