Man fooled TripAdvisor to rank non-existent restaurant as the best restaurant in London

According to a respected IT magazine in Norway, a man created a fake restaurant on TripAdvisor, and called it “The Shed”. Using different computers, he was able to have his fake restaurant become ranked as the #1 restaurant in London on the site. He had among other things used soap and toilet products to create “fake food”, which he had used as photos of dishes.

The reason why I am writing about this, is because something similar is actually literally impossible to achieve using my Harvester product. The reason is quite simple, it is dependent upon real customers and guests rating your restaurant, and sharing it on their own Facebook profile. Of course, a restaurant could in theory rate themselves hundreds of times, using fake names and emails – But that wouldn’t lead to anything really, since it’s first when these reviews are actually being seen, that they create a positive effect for the restaurant. And even though a restaurant might in theory create fake ratings, it would be very hard for them to trick others into sharing these reviews, on their own Facebook profile.

I don’t mean to be blunt to TripAdvisor, their developers are doing a great job, and they’re obviously trying their best to be a neutral source for restaurants. However, the arguments of that they actually are neutral, simply makes no sense, since the system is too easily gamed. I propose a different solution 🙂


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