Hotels and Restaurants Prepared for Revenge

The identities of thousands of fraudulent reviewers on travel websites such as TripAdvisor are to be revealed.

Thousands of suspected defamatory reviewers posting falsified opinions on popular travel websites like TripAdvisor will soon be named and shamed. Kwikchex, a UK-based online reputation management company, has been busy preparing a list containing of the allegedly bogus identities, leaving the reviewers two weeks to prove their stay at the hotel or restaurant they experienced – or costly legal proceedings will be initiated.

But it’s the hotels and restaurants that are behind Kwikchex, not TripAdvisor. Kwikchex could launch an application for a court order that would force TripAdvisor to disclose any information they have on the reviewers’ identity. The travel website itself has said that it would only hand over such data if compelled by an order from the courts.

“If you put up a false review – one that’s not based on your stay at the hotel and reporting what factually happened to you – there is the potential to be sued,” said Robert Todd, a lawyer with the Australian law firm Blake Dawson. Reviews are often malicious. Kwikchex argues that there are “over 1100 results on TripAdvisor, many alleging physical and sexual abuse against managers and owners that wish to clear their names in a court of law, but who have up until now been prevented from doing so.”

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