Trustpilot: Flagged Reviews to Stay Online During Inspection to Fight Consumer Censorship

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As the vast majority of consumers move online to do their holiday shopping this year, Trustpilot, a leading online reviews platform, is changing the way it treats consumer reviews when reported by businesses. The move to keep reviews visible while they are being investigated will prevent consumers feeling censored. A recent study found that four-in-ten (42%) say they are concerned about their freedom of speech when leaving reviews online.

Previously, a review reported by a business would have been temporarily hidden while Trustpilot investigated it, but moving forward all reported reviews will remain online during the investigation, with the exception of reviews containing any potentially harmful or illegal content.

“The importance of reviews in people’s lives is unquestionable. We feel it’s our responsibility to ensure they remain a trusted source of information. Review censorship is real but we won’t accept it. Allowing people to share their experiences freely, not just when companies see fit, is exactly why Trustpilot exists,” said Peter Mühlmann, founder and CEO of Trustpilot and continues:

“Fake news, fake reviews and censorship are the enemies and we will keep them at bay so that consumers can continue to make informed choices and we can help good businesses grow”.

This latest change to the Trustpilot platform marks the fulfilment of the trust promise laid out by Mühlmann earlier this year. The commitment to deliver seven fundamental changes to the Trustpilot platform before the end of the year has been delivered ahead of time, including no longer allowing review incentives, strengthening the consumer alert system and providing increased transparency on company profile pages.

“This isn’t a completed mission. The task of earning consumer trust and the fight against misuse never ends. Everyone can expect more upgrades to the platform in the near future,” said Peter Mühlmann.

In January last year, Trustpilot released an industry-first Transparent Flagging feature providing consumers with a window into how often companies flag reviews, and what happens to them once they’ve been investigated. Further upgrades have since been made to the feature including information on how businesses reply to negative reviews. Every month more than 150,000 consumers visit a transparency page giving them a detailed overview of how a company is using Trustpilot.

The new policy on keeping reviews reported by businesses visible will take effect in the UK and the US on 2 December 2020 while being fully implemented in other markets by 9 December 2020. More information on what happens to a review if it is reported can be found here.

Notes to Editors

“The value of online retail sales made during the Christmas season in 2020 is expected to see unprecedented growth in the United Kingdom. According to research, this holiday season (covering the six-week period from mid-November to the end of December), online sales will almost reach the value of brick-and-mortar sales in the United Kingdom. This change is triggered by the impact of the coronavirus and the lockdown measures introduced for the month of November.”

Online sales predicted to increase from £22.28 billion (2019) to £35.26 billion (2020)

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