Technology

Man jailed for posting fake reviews on TripAdvisor

A man has been sentenced to nine months in prison for writing fake reviews on TripAdvisor in a landmark fraud ruling.

You heard correctly, folks, you can now wind up behind bars for posting fake junk on the internet. Why would have thought?

tenor (1)

In one of the first legal cases of its kind, the Criminal Court of Lecce ruled that writing fake reviews using a false identity is criminal conduct under Italian criminal law.

The owner of PromoSalento, which sold fake review packages to hospitality businesses in Italy, was ordered to pay approximately 8,000 Euros in costs and damages.

Paid review fraud – when companies or individuals ‘sell’ fake reviews to business owners – is a violation of the law in many jurisdictions, but this is one of the first cases of enforcement resulting in a criminal conviction.

TripAdvisor supported the prosecution of PromoSalento as a civil claimant by sharing evidence from its extensive in-house fraud investigations and providing support from its Italian legal counsel.

The platform said in a statement it takes review fraud extremely seriously and employs advanced tracking technology and a dedicated team of investigators to catch paid review companies and prevent them from operating on the site.

Trip advisor sticker on restaurant window

“We see this as a landmark ruling for the Internet,” Brad Young, VP, Associate General Counsel, TripAdvisor, said.

“Writing fake reviews has always been fraud, but this is the first time we’ve seen someone sent to jail as a result.”

“Online reviews play a major role in tourism and consumer purchasing decisions, but it’s important everyone plays by the rules,” said Pascal Lamy, Chairman, World Committee on Tourism Ethics, UNWTO.

“Fake reviews clearly contravene the World Committee on Tourism Ethics guidelines, which we published last year to guide the responsible use of ratings and reviews on digital platforms.

“The recommendations were developed in collaboration with TripAdvisor, Minube and Yelp and we know that industry collaboration has an important role to play in tackling review fraud.”

TripAdvisor has urged anyone approached or contacted by companies or individuals offering fake reviews to contact paidreviews@tripadvisor.com.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

  • sting

    …. the arrest of the fake reviews provider business is not enough…. the court should also go after its clientele… remember, there will be no business if there are no customers… the customers themselves are liable..

Tourism

Flavour of the Week

These new industry appointments are bound to shake up your Friday. Because they’re moving and shaking, get it? Sorry, but it is the end of the week.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Big Fat Agent Wrap

The agent wraps are our favourite thing to do on a Friday. Well, that and research places to go for lunch. And bars to go to for happy hour. But agent wraps come a close third.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Introducing Australia’s most Instagrammable restaurants

Cancel all your weekend plans because you’re going to want to want to eat your way through this delicious list.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Big Fat Aloha Friday Wrap

This Aloha Friday wrap is of mammoth proportions! Ok, it’s quite reasonably sized, but it is filled with fire-breathing dragons. Ok, that isn’t true either.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

PICTURES: Sneak peek at Queensland’s first Westin hotel

Here are some pictures of a very pretty hotel to gaze at while you pretend you’re working. We’ve already wasted half our morning on them.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“You need to be genuinely interested”: Top selling agent reveals her tips for increasing sales

Sue Wright made $300,000 in her first three months as a PTM! We caught up with her to find out her secrets to success.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

PASSENGERS REACT: Qantas scraps in-flight music on domestic

If you’re one to engage in mid-flight silent discos, you may want to bring your own beats from now on.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“Back to the shop”: Cathay Pacific misspells its own name on livery

The airline has been forced to take one of its planes back to the painters after becoming aware of an embarrassing typo. Look, we’ve all been there.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Emirates rumored to be considering Etihad take over

Emirates have denied rumours they are considering taking over Etihad, which would form the world’s biggest airline by passenger traffic.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

How sustainability, global trends and culture relate to tourism’s future being featured at Hawaii’s Global Tourism Summit

Three areas of focus for tourism’s future – sustainability, global trends and culture – will be addressed by a variety of speakers, panelists and attendees from around the world and within the Hawaiian Islands at Hawaii’s Global Tourism Summit.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Hawaii on sale

by Ashlee Galea

Shopping in Hawaii is nothing short of sensational – Hawaii provides American retail therapy with a Pacific island twist.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Keynote speakers at Hawaii’s Global Tourism Summit to address the power – and challenges – of Travel’s Future

The theme of this year’s Global Tourism Summit – Charting the Course – points to the ever-present need for destinations and travel suppliers to continuously balance the power of tourism’s popularity worldwide with its impact on residents and communities.

Share

CommentComments