French Group: Fake Reviews Will Not Be Tolerated

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A standards organization in France wants people to prove they really did stay at that hotel in May and thought it was the best thing ever. Is this a good idea, or an obnoxious one?

In France, they have ways of dealing with suspicious consumer reviews.

Those ways include a new logo and requiring proof that a reviewer is legitimate, The Local says. France’s national association on standardization and certification, AFNOR, came up with the idea. (We have one of those groups too. It’s called the American National Standards Institute.)

Websites that host reviews won’t be required to participate with AFNOR’s program, but those that do must commit to posting both the good and the bad, along with collecting contact information from every reviewer so the hosting site can check authenticity.

“A user claiming to have had a life-changing stay at a hotel in Lyon, for example, will be forced to provide proof and dates of their stay, to prevent fake reviewers in the employ of the hotel from padding out their online reputation with spurious ratings,” The Local says. Participating websites will feature a logo to let consumers know the reviews there have been authenticated and left unedited.

Reviewers will be required to provide two contact methods, including an email address, mailing address or phone number, to log on and post a review, The Local says. It seems like this would produce more extreme reviews: People with strong opinions either way would probably be more willing to go through the hassle.

Do you trust online reviews to help make buying decisions? Would a system like this make you trust them more? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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