Trustpilot Releases Transparent Flagging Feature

Customer review platform provider Trustpilot recently released its new transparent flagging feature, which aims to provide customers with greater visibility into how often companies flag reviews and what happens to them once they’ve been investigated. The new feature is part of a larger initiative by Trustpilot to bring more transparency to its platform and, by extension, the review industry at large.

“The whole point of the transparent flagging feature is really to get consumers and companies speaking the same language, and establishing more trust and authenticity with one another. What we found on our own platform is that the vast majority of companies using the Trustpilot platform, whether they were using the free version or one of the paid tiers, were using it responsibly…but we found that a very small portion, fewer than 1 percent of the companies on there, were over-flagging, and were attempting to manipulate their trust scores and their star ratings,” says Zach Pardes, director of advertising and communications, North America, at Trustpilot. “This tool is one step of many that we’re taking to provide consumers with a window into how companies are behaving on our platform.”

With transparent flagging, consumers can see how many reviews a company has flagged; how many of those review went back online and how many were removed; and whether or not the flagged reviews breached Trustpilot’s guidelines. Consumers can also view how a business is flagging reviews distributed against their star rating. In addition to improving the experience for consumers, the feature also aims to provide an opportunity for businesses to build trust with their customers.

“For brand marketers, for a long time there was an arms race to five stars…more stars, more money. But just as we’ve seen across other digital platforms, I think there will be a price to pay for getting those stars now if it’s done in an unsavory way. One of Trustpilot’s jobs is to make sure that that price simply isn’t worth paying,” Pardes says. “We want companies to openly ask for feedback from all customers, positive or negative, and of course we want them to be able to flag reviews that are suspicious—maybe they’re spam, maybe they’re defamatory, those should still be in play.

“What we’re trying to prevent here are a few bad apples from spoiling the whole bunch, and I think transparent flagging is a great step of many other steps we have rolling out in 2019 to do just that.”

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