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Trustpilot has released its second annual Transparency Report, which includes the most up-to-date statistics on user reviews as well as details on the company’s continuous efforts to counteract dishonest review manipulation by online merchants, 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 fake and manipulated reviews. According to the new data, the service received 46.7 million reviews in 2021, accounting for a quarter of all reviews received since its inception in 2007.
The number of fraudulent review removals increased as the number of reviews submitted to Trustpilot increased. Throughout 2021, the service eliminated over 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.
Businesses that sought to exploit Trustpilot’s platform to deceive customers were also subjected to automation. Businesses found to be in violation of the company’s requirements received 1,425 official “cease and desist” letters and 121,048 automated warnings. This was a 210 percent increase from the automatic warnings sent in 2020.
Trustpilot has previously been accused of enabling phony reviews to exist on its site and allowing businesses to game its algorithms to boost their review scores.
The firm started issuing transparency reports like this one to answer any queries it might have about how it interacts with retailers and manufacturers that try to game the system. For that purpose, it documented the unethical ways in which businesses attempted to sway their Trustpilot ratings in 2021. “Incentivizing users to post evaluations,’ cherry picking’ by selectively inviting only pleased customers to give feedback, abusing the reporting mechanism by solely flagging bad reviews to Trustpilot, or soliciting false reviews,” according to the report. When these ploys were discovered, they were met with warnings and disciplinary measures.
Finally, Trustpilot has taken 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 organizations protecting consumers online,” according to the review monitoring service. It did not provide any information about the three cases that are currently being investigated.
In Trustpilot’s Transparency section, you may find more figures and details presented in this year’s study.