Google Has Been Letting Anonymous People Review Businesses
Online reviews are a hot button issue right now, particularly as one case involving Yelp reviews has attracted some media attention. You can read about that here. Basically, a woman was sued for defaming remarks, as she claimed in reviews on Yelp and Angie’s List that a contractor had stolen jewelry from her, which she has so far been unable to prove. She was initially ordered to change her reviews, but the Virginia Supreme Court overturned that decision, indicating that a jury would have to find her guilty before the reviews would be required to be removed.
As WebProNews readers have indicated in various comments, a lot of business owners feel that the reviews shouldn’t be allowed to remain up, as the business stands to lose potential customers as a result, which of course, is the basis of the suit to begin with.
Accountability for online reviews is a big issue for businesses who face damage to their reputations. Google recognizes this, and last year, when they moved to the Google+ Local model for local search, the company was supposed to have started requiring users to be signed into their Google accounts, which would be accompanied by their names/profiles, to post reviews. This would ensure accountability for what is said in these reviews.
Upon trying to write a business review while logged out of Google, I am personally prompted to sign in.
However, Google appears to still be letting anonymous reviews through. Instead of the reviewers name, it may say “A Google User”.
Google’s Jade Wang responds in the thread, saying, “Thanks, all — we are investigating.”
The response was from yesterday. The anonymous reviews are still showing:
Schwartz also notes that this has been happening for months.
In the thread, one user says Google may show “A Google User” for reviews that were created before the changes, but they shouldn’t be displaying this way for reviews that recent. Wang’s acknowledgement seems to suggest that Google will fix this.
Luckily for this particular business, these particular reviews are positive.
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