Users have no way to know how many negative reviews TripAdvisor withheld, how many true, troubling experiences never get told. The Federal Trade Commission is now looking into TripAdvisor’s business practices.
And it’s difficult for site users to realize that much of what appears on their screens has been specifically selected and crafted to encourage them to spend.
Secret algorithms determine which hotels and resorts appear when consumers search. Some hotels pay TripAdvisor when travelers click on their links; some pay commissions when tourists book or travel.
An untold number of TripAdvisor users have been granted special privileges, including the ability to delete forum posts. But the company won’t disclose how those users are selected.
The $1.5 billion online travel website’s initial public response has been swift, rolling out a new warning system that marks resorts where safety concerns have been reported in the media. The company has promised to make other changes aimed at making it easier for travelers to share their troubling experiences.
Get the full story at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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