A UK advertising watchdog has launched a probe into TripAdvisor following complaints from hotels and restaurants about the veracity of the reviews on the site. More than 2,000 business owners complained of fake or defamatory reviews. The watchdog will consider whether the travel-review site needs to verify its reviews’ sources, the Telegraph reports. The probe is also examining whether TripAdvisor uses the word “trust” in a misleading way.
“Evidence of epidemic levels of abuse, flaws, and distortion are being rebutted at present only with standard statements from TripAdvisor repeating clams of diligence and trustworthiness—and the public need to weigh the evidence properly,” said a rep for KwikCheck.com, an online-reputation management company that sought the investigation. It’s also seeking a US-based investigation as it plans a stateside lawsuit. (Read more TripAdvisor stories.)