TripAdvisor Fined for Fake Reviews

FeatureImage_TripadvisorThe Italian Competition Authority is fining TripAdvisor 500,000 euros (about $610,000) for failing to prevent fake reviews on its site. The regulator responded to complaints by consumers and hotel owners and accused TripAdvisor of misrepresenting the site as "authentic and genuine" by posting false "defamatory" reviews. 

TripAdvisor disputed the ruling, saying that their fraud detectors and technology are "extremely effective in protecting consumers from the small minority of people who try to cheat our system," and "We firmly believe that TripAdvisor is a force for good - both for consumers and the hospitality industry."

The story reminds me of software developed at Cornell for spotting deceptive reviews. After it was trained, the software identified fake reviews 90% of the time compared to humans, who were successfully only 50% of the time. 

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Discussion Starters: 

  • What responsibility, if any, should TripAdvisor have for fake reviews on its site? 
  • Can you spot the fake review