Trustpilot Detects and Stamps Out 2.2 Million Fake or Harmful Reviews in 2020

New Transparency Report unveils unseen data:
  • Over 2.2m (5.7%) fake* reviews were detected and curbed from nearly 39 million written in 2020
  • Trustpilot enforces platform guidelines issuing over 1,000 formal ‘cease and desist’ letters and 522 public consumer warnings during 2020
  • Continued growth in Trustpilot’s publicly open platform shows the importance of consumers wanting to share their experiences without fear of manipulation 

Trustpilot – a leading global review platform – releases new data that shows more than 2.2 million fake or harmful reviews were stamped out from its platform in 2020. The company’s new Transparency Report opens up the workings of its business to demonstrate the scale of the protective, safeguarding measures it deploys as usage of its platform grows. Such measures ensure that anyone can share their experiences on its publicly open platform, allowing businesses to see that feedback and earn trust by listening and improving.

Trustpilot’s first-ever Transparency Report shows that last year more than 2 million (2,209,230) fake or harmful reviews were tackled; more than 1.5 million (1,549,683) were removed automatically using automated fraud detection software and just over six hundred thousand (659,547) were removed manually.

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Peter Muhlmann, Founder and CEO, Trustpilot said: “The popularity of online reviews has given consumers the confidence to buy more online from more businesses of all shapes and sizes. Fake reviews and misinformation are the enemy, and we continue to do all we can to prevent consumers from being misled. Trust is in our name, and trust is at the heart of all that we do as a business; if we are to be successful, we have to be more open and transparent in the way that we work.”

As well as data on how Trustpilot is proactively targeting and removing fake or harmful reviews, which totalled 5.7% of the total reviews written on the platform in 2020, the company has also revealed exactly how it enforces its guidelines for businesses and consumers. In total, Trustpilot sent 38,957 warnings, 1030 formal ‘cease and desist’ letters and posted 522 Consumer Warnings publically on profiles deemed to be severely in breach. 122 businesses also had their contracts terminated.

The Trustpilot Transparency Report also provides information on how many reviews were ‘flagged’ by businesses and consumers. Businesses reported just under half a million (469,107) suspicious reviews last year, with 62% of those taken offline, whereas consumers reported nearly 90 thousand (88,412) and 12% of those were removed.

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Trustpilot has invested in technology that detects fake reviews through a combination of specially developed software and teams of specially trained investigators. Reviews are published in the first place without interference, but when fake reviews are detected by the company, or reviews are flagged by businesses or consumers, strict guidelines are in place to ensure suspect activity is identified and removed as soon as possible. The global platform continues to provide increased insight into how every business is obtaining, reporting and responding to reviews through its Business Transparency pages.

Trustpilot’s Chief Trust Officer, Carolyn Jameson said, “The integrity of reviews and how they’re managed differs greatly across the internet. Our open approach provides everyone with the ability to have their say at any time, without waiting to be invited and without interference, giving a more holistic and authentic view of what’s really going on. At Trustpilot, we’re surfacing what we do and giving everyone more understanding and greater confidence in the information on our platform. We want people to continue to trust what they see.”

Trust in online reviews has never been more important as consumers increasingly look to buy goods and services online. Activity on Trustpilot’s platform grew in 2020; there was a 25% increase in reviews globally, and views of businesses on the website increased by 29% when comparing March with October 2020. In total nearly 39 million (38,687,548) reviews were written last year, there were 540 million views of company profile pages and more than 300 thousand (314,275) businesses were reviewed.

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