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

One response to “Man jailed for posting fake reviews on TripAdvisor”

  1. …. 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..

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Small Group Touring Co.’s new recruit, Linkd Tourism secures Port of Seattle + MORE!

Flavour of the Week induces two things on a Friday: nostalgia over Craig David and a succession of travel professionals falling asleep at their desks.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Airbnb’s giant ‘Wienermobile’ is sure to satisfy your hot-dog-loving clients

by Christian Fleetwood

In what is a quintessential Friday story, Travel Weekly has delivered this ‘franktastic’ and ‘blunderful’ news for all your hot-dog-loving clients.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Indonesian airline bans inflight filming, reportedly threatens to sue influencer

A travel blogger may be facing defamation charges after making fun of a handwritten menu he was presented on a flight.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

WATCH: Airline passenger scrolls through movies with bare feet!

Due to his aversion to feet, toes and everything below the ankles, Travel Weekly’s editor passed this gross story down to our junior reporter to write.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

How will Instagram’s ‘likes’ trial affect travel marketers?

by Christian Fleetwood

Instagram has hidden the number of likes from posts in a bid to return to a content focus, but what does that mean for businesses using them as a tool to measure engagement? Read on to find out.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent wrap: Agents experience safari camp, Viking golden ticket winners + MORE

What better way to bring in the weekend than to trawl through all the latest agent offers and famil pictures? All that’s missing is a sneaky glass of wine.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid takes next step at Uluru for reconciliation

by Ali Coulton

Hot off the heels of news that tourists are flocking to the rock before a climbing ban comes into action, Intrepid has reiterated its stance on serving alcohol at the sacred site.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

STUDY: More Aussies want to travel overseas, but where do they want to go?

Want to wow your friends and colleagues by being able to rattle off the latest tourism statistics? This article should do the trick.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel wrap: Raffles Singapore reopens arcade, Waldorf rebrand, new Aussie hotels + MORE

We apologise in advance for the record-breaking length of this week’s hotel wrap. Travel Weekly’s reporter would’ve made it even longer had we not locked him in the office storeroom.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

“You cannot ignore the magnitude of influence”: Agency boss’ Instagram warning

Don’t consider Instagram as a powerful force in the travel industry. Well, a prominent agency boss has warned you to think again.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Airbnb host’s list of nightmare bathroom requests goes viral

Among the very specific and highly unrealistic requests was that “gentlemen” must remain seated for “both for number one and number two” and all signs of “passage” must be removed. Yikes.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

STUDY: 50 per cent of Aussies say ‘me time’ drives travel choices

Half of those surveyed in this study have confessed to travelling to be alone. We usually just take a long walk or read a book for some ‘me time’, but spending thousands of dollars on a holiday also works.

Share

CommentComments