Blogs

TripAdvisor Fined $610,000 for Failing to Prevent Astroturfing

12.26.14

The Italian Competition Authority fined TripAdvisor based on a complaint by an “association of Italian hoteliers and by local consumer protection groups, which claimed that TripAdvisor did not provide accurate reviews for consumers to make informed decisions.” The New York Times reported that TripAdvisor disagreed:

We think the ruling is unreasonable,…We fight fraud aggressively and are very confident in the systems and processes we have in place.

Of course not all bad reviews are astroturfing since people can post bad reviews if they do not like a hotel. However to make astroturfing more complicated, now some hotels have started fining people who post bad reviews after their stays. The BBC reported that the UK Broadway Hotel “fined” a couple £100 who described the hotel as a “rotten, stinking hovel” on TripAdvisor after a one night stay, but the hotel later said it “will refund the money.” The UK hotel created the “policy of charging people who wrote bad reviews to prevent “customers from defaming” the business.”

Astrotrurfing regulation is still a mess if a government can penalize TripAdvisor for allowing unfavorable reviews and hotel guests may be fined for posting unfavorable reviews

The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.

Search Tips:

You may use the wildcard symbol (*) as a root expander.  A search for "anti*" will find not only "anti", but also "anti-trust", "antique", etc.

Entering two terms together in a search field will behave as though an "OR" is being used.  For example, entering "Antique Motorcars" as a Client Name search will find results with either word in the Client Name.

Operators

AND and OR may be used in a search.  Note: they must be capitalized, e.g., "Project AND Finance." 

The + and - sign operators may be used.  The + sign indicates that the term immediately following is required, while the - sign indicates to omit results that contain that term. E.g., "+real -estate" says results must have "real" but not "estate".

To perform an exact phrase search, surround your search phrase with quotation marks.  For example, "Project Finance".

Searches are not case sensitive.

back to top