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Trustpilot released its second annual Transparency Report, which includes the most recent statistics on user reviews as well as an overview of the company’s ongoing efforts to counteract dishonest review manipulation by online retailers, manufacturers, and other bad actors.
The latest data from the review tracking business shows a rapid increase in review submissions and all of the steps the company claims to be taking to counteract false and manipulated reviews. According to the new study, 46.7 million reviews were submitted to the service in 2021, accounting for nearly a quarter of all reviews received since its 2007 start.
The number of fraudulent reviews removed increased in tandem with the number of reviews submitted to Trustpilot. Over the course of 2021, the service eliminated around 2.7 million bogus reviews. Trustpilot states that automatic detection tools caught 1.8 million of these, a 19 percent increase over the previous year’s performance.
The responsibility of taking action against businesses that attempted to deceive customers using Trustpilot’s platform was also automated. According to the corporation, businesses found to be in violation of the organization’s criteria received 1,425 official “stop and desist” letters and 121,048 automated warnings. This was a 210 percent increase over the automatic warnings sent in 2020.
Trustpilot has previously been accused of enabling phony reviews to exist on its platform and allowing businesses to game its systems to artificially raise their own review scores.
The firm started issuing transparency reports like this one to answer queries about how it handles merchants and manufacturers that try to game its measures. In 2021, it exposed the unethical ways firms attempted to alter their Trustpilot scores. “Incentivizing users to leave reviews,” “‘cherry picking’ by selectively encouraging only pleased customers to provide feedback,” “abusing the reporting mechanism by continually only flagging negative reviews to Trustpilot,” and “soliciting phony reviews” were among the strategies mentioned. They were met with warnings and disciplinary penalties when these attempts were discovered.
Finally, Trustpilot has pursued legal action against three particularly egregious policy violators: Global Migrate, SO Cameras, and Euro Resales. “Any damages paid as part of any litigation to be allocated to groups defending consumers online,” the review tracking company stated. It did not provide any information on the three pending cases.
In Trustpilot’s Transparency section, more statistics and details are presented in this year’s study.