In 2010 a group of 700 holiday accommodation owners hit back at TripAdvisor over reviews they believed were unfair and damaging to their business. Proprietors described reviews that claimed they were racist or compared their businesses to “sewage works”. The complaints were compiled by KwikChex.com, a company that specialises in protecting the online reputations of businesses, and the prospect of legal action was raised. Even Dragon’s Den panellist and hotel owner Duncan Bannatyne waded in, telling The Caterer magazine that “people are coming to our hotels and threatening to write bad reviews in order to get money off their bills”. In 2011 the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) launched an investigation into TripAdvisor after KwikChex filed a complaint on behalf of business owners upset at what they described as fake or defamatory reviews. KiwxChex argued that TripAdvisor should not be pitching itself as a source of “reviews you can trust” or opinions from “real travellers”. The ASA ruled in its favour, stating that because reviews on TripAdvisor can be posted without verification, the site could no longer “claim or imply that all the reviews that appeared on the website were from real travellers, or were honest, real or trusted”. Get the full story at The Guardian