A major crackdown sees the removal of 2.7 million bogus online reviews over the past year

Approximately 46.7 million reviews were left on Trustpilot’s global review platform during that time, with an equivalent 5.8% removed after they were deemed fictitious.

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There is a major crackdown on fake reviews online

A major crackdown on fake reviews online is underway with 2.7 million fake reviews removed in the past 12 months.

Approximately 46.7 million reviews were left on Trustpilot’s global review platform during that time, with an equivalent 5.8% removed after they were deemed fictitious.

The consumer website has invested heavily in fraud and anomaly detection software which has accelerated and improved the process of identifying and removing fake reviews.

Using this software, the company was able to delete 1.8 million reviews in 2021, a 19% increase over 2020 figures.

Improvements in tracking software have also led to an increase in automatic alerts for businesses.







Trustpilot was able to delete 1.8 million reviews in 2021 using special software
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POJCHEEWIN YAPRASERT / Getty)

And it has also seen more action against a number of review sellers and further removals of groups and pages on other social media sites.

The consumer review website issued 121,048 automatic alerts last year, a 210% increase over 2020.

This in turn has helped Trustpilot take more confident law enforcement action against attackers.

The number of public warning banners (2,637) placed at the top of company profile pages to alert consumers quadrupled in 2021.

While 1,425 formal letters of “cease and desist” were also sent to companies of “bad actors”, with an increase of 38% year over year.

The data was revealed as part of the company’s second-ever Transparency reportwhich reveals the measures it is taking to safeguard against fraudulent reviews.

Founder and CEO Peter Muhlmann said: “Any attempt to manipulate and undermine trust in our platform cannot and will not be tolerated.

“Over the past year we have continued to make significant investments and advancements in our sensing technologies and application strategy.

“This is helping us to take ever safer action against those who break the rules.







The company is now filing litigation against companies that refuse to abide by the rules
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Peter Dazeley / Getty)

“Those who try to mislead consumers will always look for new ways to exploit and manipulate reviews.

“But as our report shows, we are committed to eliminating bad actors and protecting the integrity of our platform.”

Reasons businesses have taken action over the past year include encouraging consumers and selective inviting happy customers to leave reviews.

Other reasons include abuse of the reporting tool by repeatedly reporting only negative reviews to Trustpilot or soliciting fake reviews, all of which violate its guidelines.

Earlier this year, the consumer website announced a new legal strategy as part of its effort to tackle fake reviews.

The company is now filing litigation against companies that refuse to abide by the rules and fail to respond to repeated dictation.

The latest subjects to take legal action, following Global Migrate in February 2022, are online photographic equipment retailer, SO Cameras, and European real estate company, Euro Resales.







The company hopes to help online shoppers
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Getty)

Both companies attempted to mislead consumers through the use of fake reviews.

More than 500 suspicious fake reviews from the SO Cameras Trustpilot page have been detected and removed.

This represents more than two-thirds of all reviews submitted to the page.

And 437 fake reviews have been identified and removed from the Euro Resales page, which is also more than two-thirds of all reviews posted on its site.

Carolyn Jameson, Trustpilot’s Chief Trust Officer, said: “Our research found that consumers are concerned about online disinformation and we remain committed to addressing this issue.

“As the growth of online shopping shows no signs of slowing, we know that both customers and businesses are relying on reviews more than ever.

“But the way these reviews are handled varies greatly across the internet.

“That is why it is so important to us to establish an industry standard: trust and transparency are at the heart of everything we do.”

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