Tripadvisor Practise Censorship In Discussion Forum
We had a peculiar incident with Tripadvisor discussion forum. All our discussions regarding Greece were deleted yesterday. Earlier a member calling himself aldro10 had been accusing us of lying because we had claimed that Greece was not as cheap as he said it to be. After asking if differences in opinions and mere discussion on various different views qualify as lying, all our posts related to Greece were removed. Also a post where we recommended to check Hospex options, namely BeWelcome, was removed perhaps because it was hindering his efforts to promote his favourite, or his employer’s, hotels.
To find out what is the official stance of Tripadvisor regarding censorship we posted another question to support group (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12105-k6627085-Deleting_forum_posts-TripAdvisor_Support.html) asking about their policy regarding censoring opinions. After a few minutes, this message was deleted as well.
Having a travel discussion forum where people can only discuss certain things that the moderators agree is quite pointless. The value of discussions is exchanging opinions and having a chance to change our own opinions. This is only possible if different opinions and free discussion are permitted. Arbitrary censorship will drive critical users away and promote negative groupthink.
A quick look at user complaints against Tripadvisor revealed that there are censorship problems in reviews as well. Realistic and negative reviews are harder to get published than positive ones. If this is true, who trusts Tripadvisor’s hotel reviews anymore?
See also: Bookmooch experience.