AUTHENTICITY OF REVIEWS
It is a perennial problem for interactive sites such as this whether the purveyors of the goods or services are talking up their own products and services masquerading as customers. Equally the person commenting negatively may have an axe to grind, either as a competitor or just someone who was ‘having a bad day’.
The first obvious answer is for our customers to be aware of this risk and read other people’s comments in that light. The vast majority are genuine. We will do everything we can to root out bogus comments, see below, but we cannot eliminate them in the short term.
So what do we do?
First, we require all comments to be from registered users and we have an authentication protocol to give a reasonable level of security, eg email authentication. We are not going to reveal all the tricks here so we don’t give them to the bad guys.
Second, we vet all comments before they appear on the site. The editorial team make it their business to have a good appreciation of the establishments in the database. We live in the area and read the press etc. We often visit the restaurants ourselves. This is not infallible, but is another barrier to the false comment.
Third, we give registered users a chance to report to us other people’s comments that you feel are self-publicity or just plain wrong.
Finally, we err on the side of caution. If we suspect a review, we will remove it while we make enquiries to assess its validity.