In a previous post I discussed some of the good and bad aspects of TripAdvisor reviews, including possibly phony reviews that overexaggerate the positives or negatives of hotels, restaurants, and various travel activities, often to the point of ridiculousness.
Now New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is cracking down on some businesses that have been giving themselves five-star reviews on sites like Yelp, Google, CitySearch and Yahoo.
Nineteen companies — including a charter bus company as well as non-travel-related businesses — have been ordered to stop writing or contracting for phony reviews of themselves and to pay a total of $350,000 in fines.
Schneiderman estimates that by next year one seventh of all the reviews on social media sites will be fakes.
So-called “reputation enhancement” companies are at the heart of the problem, hiring cheap foreign labor… Continue reading