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Best and Worst Sites for Online Reviews

Some sites go to great lengths to verify the authenticity of reviews. Others, not so much.

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Some sites go to great lengths to verify the authenticity of reviews. Others are loosey-goosy, letting more fake reviews squeak through. Here’s how five of the biggest sites stack up.

See Also: Why You Can't Trust Online Reviews

Angie’s List Anonymous reviews aren’t allowed on this site, which has stiff verification policies. Critics must submit their name, address, phone number and e-mail with a review, and they must sign a form affirming that their comments reflect firsthand experience.

Expedia Only travelers who booked a room through the site can post a review of that hotel. Expedia says it takes “multiple steps” to verify its write-ups are only from paying guests.

Amazon Anyone who has used an Amazon account to buy something can submit a review of any item without proving he or she bought it. To help crack down on fake reviews, Amazon slaps a Verified Purchase badge on write-ups by people who actually bought the product (instead of receiving it as a freebie or at a deep discount).

Yelp Filters try to weed out phony reviews, but anyone can leave a comment about a business without proving he or she is a paying customer.

TripAdvisor The travel site’s open-door policy allows anyone to post a hotel review without a proof of stay. “We do not fact-check reviews,” the site says. Limiting comments to verified customers, it adds, would mean that travelers might “miss out on a wealth of other useful feedback.”