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A recent article published in MailOnline by Stephanie Linning brings to light a problem that many business owners are experiencing with sites that curate user generated content for reviews and ratings. In the article, Linning profiles David Moore, owner of Michelin-starred Pied a Terre in London, who said Trip Advisor was like a ‘monster spiraling out of control’, adding malicious reviews had the power to break small businesses.

The 51-year-old businessman Moore said: “A copy of the bill printed next to the review would prove they had actually dined there. Just the bill, not the receipt with card details. TripAdvisor could even ensure reviewers are only able to give a star rating if they print the bill. Either way put some kind of structure in place to make both the restaurant and the customer happy.”

Gaming is a term used when business or users adds fake reviews to either make their business look better or to make a competitor business look worse. Not only can a business write false reviews about themselves or a competitor, but users can do the same. The problem with gaming on sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp is one that effects most small to medium size businesses today.

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