Multiple award-winning journalist Chris Haslam has published an article in the Times and Sunday Times, querying once again whether online travel reviews can be trusted? It coincides with TripAdvisor’s announcement that the site has just passed 1 billion reviews.
Chris Emmins, CEO of KwikChex was interviewed for the article and pointed out that for all the claims of accuracy put forward by reviews sites, millions of fake reviews still get published. Emmins was quoted in the article, saying,
“All review sites exaggerate how effectively they can detect fraud,” Emmins said, “but it’s not hard for fraudsters to sidestep the systems. It’s not just the use of virtual private networks [VPNs] to disguise IP addresses and the use of AI-generated copy, it’s also that it’s much harder to check IP addresses from mobile uploads.
“The fraudsters — often based in the Indian subcontinent or Indonesia — are now using artificial intelligence to overcome any written-language deficiencies. It’s not expensive for them because they can use subscription services to access cloud-based AI software, and they can even use bots to generate copy.
“It’s the same technology that’s being used to generate fake news. And the irony now is that some of their output becomes detectable only because it’s better articulated than genuine reviews. In effect we’re catching them because they’re too good.”
The article also provided the first media mention of Veri–Good, the new alternative to online reviews being launched by the founders of KwikChex, which will provide genuine verification of the standards of businesses – and in the hospitality sector will drive direct sales and relationships, rather than the agent- booking, high commission models currently dominating the market.
Information on Veri-Good https://veri-good.com/
To read the article in the Times – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/were-all-hooked-on-travel-reviews-but-can-we-really-trust-them-xsh3tszvr (subscription required).