Man jailed in Italy for writing faux TripAdvisor overview

The brand for journey web site firm TripAdvisor is proven on a pc display screen, Might 3, 2016. Reuters/Mike Blake

ROME:  A person who wrote faux opinions about Italian eating places and lodges on the web journey web site TripAdvisor has been jailed for 9 months and ordered to pay an 8,000 euro ($9,300) positive, the corporate mentioned on Wednesday.

TripAdvisor mentioned in a press release that the sentence was handed down in June by a courtroom within the southern Italian metropolis of Lecce. There was no instant affirmation from the courtroom.

The person, who was not named, supplied to promote glowing opinions to companies throughout Italy to bump up their rankings on the TripAdvisor web site, which claims lots of of thousands and thousands of on-line guests every month.

“We see this as a landmark ruling for the Web,” TripAdvisor mentioned. “Writing faux opinions on TripAdvisor has at all times been a violation of the regulation in lots of jurisdictions … Nonetheless, that is the primary time we have now seen the legal guidelines being enforced to the purpose of securing a felony conviction.”

The U.S.-owned firm mentioned Italian companies tipped it off in 2015 {that a} man was providing to jot down faux opinions to spice up their on-line profiles.

A subsequent investigation revealed “greater than 1,000 makes an attempt” to submit opinions for lots of of various properties. TripAdvisor mentioned it believes some companies paid for faux opinions and had been subsequently hit with penalties that lowered their all-important reputation rankings.

It added that Italy’s Postal and Communications Police had carried out a parallel investigation and had introduced the eventual prosecution.

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($1 = 0.8601 euros)

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer Enhancing by Mark Heinrich)