Top restaurant critic blasts TripAdvisor

Review site is “riddled with fakes and idiots”, she writes
Restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin has penned an article in the influential newspaper The Guardian blasting the review site TripAdvisor. The site’s co-founder and chief executive took the unusual step of responding.
In the latest of many misleading recommendations, O’Loughlin says that she and her family were wrongly led to a restaurant that was top of the list in a seaside town in Croatia. Instead of grilling fresh fish over wood, like the beach shack down the road, the restaurant took its ingredients from a vast freezer in full view.
O’Loughlin’s opinion piece claims the site is “riddled with fakes and idiots”, and “a huge number of otherwise sensible people continue to give credence to the aggregated opinion of, at best, unqualified strangers.”
She adds: “Despite the fact that virtually every week brings a new story about how useless TripAdvisor is, how it enables users who are corrupt/greedy/mendacious, the site trundles on.”
Top-rated restaurants in London, Glasgow, Manchester and other cities are, she writes, average or terrible. An Irish cafe in Greenwich is ranked more highly than Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.
“I hate the implicit pressure: on small businesses to sign up or pay the price, to put buttons on websites and stickers on doors, the fact that even the inadvertent user is bulldozed into downloading the wretched bloody app. I hate TripAdvisor because the top listing in one Italian town was utterly fictitious. Because it gives awards to hotels like the Tunisian one closed months earlier after 38 holidaymakers were shot dead. Because there is a whole industry dedicated to churning out fake, by-the-yard ‘reviews’.”
TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer took the uncharacteristic step of responding by publishing a blog post on the site’s blog defending the company and its users and calling TripAdvisor “a force for good”.
The Guardian / Skift

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