Making shopping experiences better for everyone
Joakim Ditlev

Fighting Fake Reviews – This is Why We Require Facebook Connect for New User Profiles

By on Saturday, April 7th, 2012 in Announcements

Starting March 31st it has only been possible to create new user profiles on Trustpilot in one of two ways: Either by invitation from a company using our feedback service or directly on Trustpilot using Facebook Connect. The reason is simple: We want to get real experiences from real people. We’re currently testing to see if this is the right cure for fighting the disease of fake reviews. Here’s why.

User validation via Facebook ConnectYou’ll find reviews of more than 91,000 companies on Trustpilot and we’re continuing to grow at a remarkable speed. So too, is the business value of sharing good reviews. The Trustpilot community is reviewing, commenting and reporting like never before. But an unfortunate side effect of this growth is that we are seeing an increased number of potentially fake reviews. We have already set up measures to fight fake reviews, but now we’re stepping it up a notch to put a stop to this unfortunate trend. It’s our goal to build the world’s most trustworthy online review site, which is why we need to ensure that reviews on Trustpilot are written by real people.

What this means is:

  • You now need to connect using a social media profile, rather than simply signing up with an email address.
  • Therefore, to create a new Trustpilot account you either need an invitation from a company you’ve recently purchased from, or you can connect using your social identity, such as Facebook.

Example of "verified buyer" stampThis only impacts new user profiles. Those being invited to write a review by a company are validated through Trustpilot’s Automatic Feedback Service. You can recognize such reviews by looking at the “verified buyer”stamp in the user profile bio.

It’s also worth stressing that nothing has changed in the way you write reviews. Users with an existing Trustpilot profile can still login using an email address and password. However, we do encourage existing users to connect via Facebook as well.

Validating user profiles reduce fake reviews

We think of trust on various levels. A trustworthy review, for example, contains a detailed description of the buying experience that others can clearly understand. But trust is also about the users themselves. Whom do we trust? People we know. We trust more if there’s a real face to a real name. This is especially true when it comes to reviews on the internet– a profile with a photo and a name and connections goes a long way to establishing trust, to showing the real person behind a review.

Trust does not want to be measured, categories or translated into ultimate truths. It’s all in the eye of the beholder and we are committed to make the stories shared on Trustpilot as trustworthy as possible, by ensuring that real customers are behind the reviews.

In other words: We want less anonymous “Mr C’s” and more profiles like Joe Chapman.

Joe Chapman detailed user profileImagine if you will, it must have been pretty boring to be the first one to own a telephone. It was probably just as boring as checking out Trustpilot when only a single review was posted. The value of using a review platform like Trustpilot increases the more reviews there are, and so does the temptation to post fake reviews. Today anyone can search through and read more than 5.5 million reviews on Trustpilot and it’s increasing every day. By requiring registration via Facebook, we get more trustworthy user profiles and less fake reviews.

Ensuring higher quality reviews

We believe that creating a review on Trustpilot should be easy, but not too easy. Unfortunately, some people get a little too creative, and when that happens we take the necessary actions. Striking the right balance between sharing in-depth stories and giving a representative picture of the company being reviewed will always be a trade-off. And you can’t get it all. So the real question when developing Trustpilot really boils down to this: Do we want as many reviews as possible to make the company profiles more representative, or do we want more detailed experiences based on a smaller sample size?

Currently, the total number of reviews is large enough to give a good representation of the companies present. It seems like a good time to pull a lever and twist a handle to ensure higher quality reviews by giving a bit up on quantity.

We realize that Facebook Connect will result in less reviews, but we’ve already seen that the user profiles and the reviews made over the last 3 days are more detailed now. So it looks like the overall quality in reviews is increasing, which of course is a good thing for everyone.

Facebook Connect is good but not perfect

We’ve received a few complaints from users who couldn’t understand why they needed a Facebook account to be able to use Trustpilot. We realize that not everyone is in favor of Facebook, and we are strongly considering other validation options as well, such as Twitter or Google+.

We currently don’t have any requirement regarding minimum number of friends or similar for Facebook validation, but that’s another potential next step. Overall, we think Facebook is doing a great job removing fake profiles, but we would very much like to hear if anyone knows more about this.

We welcome any suggestions on how we can make the process go from good to great without compromising the overall user experience and leaving the door open for fake reviews. The comments are open.

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Speak your mind!

  1. Jette says:

    With this initiative, I really think you are going too far. I do have an FB account, but I never use any FB apps, and I never use it to register anywhere… What I do on FB, stays on FB. No company is getting access to my FB information.

    Another downsite to this, is that I can’t be anonymous. My real name is very unique, and I dont want other people to be able to Google everything I do. Therefore I like to use different names for different websites.

    A newspaper in my country is doing exactly the same thing as you are doing now. This means that I am not able to participate in debates on their website any more. And those who do, are primarily people with nothing to loose, and people who needs public attention for some reason. As a result, the quality of the debates is now very poor.

    I fear that this will also happen on trustpilot – many people will not write reviews, when they discover that they need to expose themselves to friends, family, current and future employees, new girlfriends and so on… I know that information found on trustpilot is probably not what you would think of as embarrasing, but it is the fact that you have no control over when and what people know about you, that is annoying.

    This tendensee to make people proove who they are anytime and anywhere, reminds me of a form of society where you can run, but you can’t hide… Hint: A political theory derived from Karl Marx (communism).

    • Claus Meyer says:

      As I understand people before 31/03/12 dont have to link the FB account. AND if you get a companys option to write a review you can still do it with out using your FB.

      Name: You can still write any name you like to show, in profile, I can only see the name you want to show!!!. So I dont see what Jettes problem is.

      There should be more validation on the internet, so we will have a safe internet and fake people will stay away from debate, sending pictures who are not of themselves etc.

      • Joakim Ditlev says:

        Thanks for your comment, Claus. Just to confirm: You are totally right about both options to create accounts.

        Before Facebook arrived, it was common that forum users, blog comments, etc were anonymous. They typically used nicknames to hide their real identity. Facebook has made a huge impact on how people identify themselves online, and that’s why we consider it as the best option so far when it comes to user validation.

        • Jacob says:

          What about the people who do not have a FB account, what about the people who do not want FB to be associated with TP. I don’t have a FB account and it was a conscious choice, I did have one, but didn’t like how it went to be to much privatelife online… I really think you should find another way around this validation thing!!!

          • Pia says:

            I have to agree with this.
            If I have to validate myself in the near future, either via facebook or other services, I’m not going to use TP any more. I do not want every person out there to know that much about me, and I’m not interested in telling people i know on FB what I’m doing on TP.

          • Ant says:

            I wanted to post a review about okbatt.co.uk who are not ok by the way.
            But I couldn’t without a facebook account.
            So I created one, just a basic one with no personal information.
            So then I can easily delete it as easily as I created it. And neither Trustpilot nor Facebook have any of my personal information. Try it :-)

        • Felix says:

          Facebook requirement just destroyed any use Trustpilot had ;)

          Just to tell you you’re driving that ship onto beach

          • yamma says:

            i would not use any site that wants my facebook id. period. trust me trust pilot.

      • Sharky says:

        Clus, You seem to miss the point.

        Alot of people do not have Facebook and do not want it. With this change Trust Pilot has been removed from my favorites list. Forcing someone to use a Facebook account to post reviews is madness. If someone wanted to leave a fake review, they would just make a fake FB account. WAKE UP!
        Regards
        Sharky

    • Marie says:

      Nicely put :-)

      • John Peterson says:

        I also agree with the above posters, and I too will not be posting on trustpilot. This is truly a dumb idea and whoever came up with it might be more comfortable moving to live in N. Korea or equivalent.

    • Alan says:

      I agree with your thoughts fully it is very easy to create even a FB page.

      And many other ways of confirming the identity first Land line phone number.

      Send out a unique code to the home/business address.

      I know trolls are a pain where the sun does not shine but as I say other ways to confirm people identity

  2. Jacob says:

    I think Jette is taking it a bit too far. I think this is a great idea, since (as far as I understand) your account on Trustpilot will not reveal to other users what name your Facebook account has. Only Trustpilot will know, and it will appear on your profile that you are “verified”, implying that you have connected with Facebook.

    Keep up the good work.

    @Jette: Keep your communistic theories to yourself.

    • agerbo says:

      Pure faschistic comment

    • Caio says:

      You don’t understand I think. What happens is about following. Not Trustpilot but FACEBOOK will use your actions on Trustpilot for advertising for example or to tell others that you were active on Trustpilot. Also: Trustpilot get’s a looot of data about you from facebook. Did they openly tell us anywhere WHAT EXACTLY their business deal with facebook is? What data they get from facebook? And what data facebook gets from truspilot? Not that I know of. This is a very, very scary development and lowers the worth of Trustpilot SIGNIFICANTLY. Trustpilot bye, bye. Trustpilot could also validate in other ways. For example with an Order number of the shop, exact cost of products ordered or similar things.

      • James says:

        Agreed. I’m happy to provide my facebook details, but not to do all the crap trustpilot wants – my friend list, personal information, etc, to leave a review about how rubbish opodo is. I don’t think so.

  3. Komposit says:

    First of all I want to thank you for taking active steps toward the fake profile issues. I run a number of websites online, and we constantly have to consider what to do against fake reviews etc. One of the suggestions was including order id in the review. Would that be possible to integrate with trustpilot?

    • Joakim Ditlev says:

      Thanks for the feedback – this is the kind of reactions we had hoped for.
      Setting up an order-id verification is already possible on our premium plans in order to get reviews from customers exclusively. Our system checks that all customers can reply, and companies using this feature are committed to inform customers about their order-id upon all requests. Read more on Trustpilot business and feel free to contact me if you got other questions.

      • agerbo says:

        …kun feedback til de der samtykker. yuaghh!

  4. Zoe says:

    Terrible idea! What makes you think everyone has a Facebook? Completely ridiculous. I for one, don’t have one anymore and tons of people are beginning to delete theirs. Don’t be surprised as you see the number of reviews start declining.

    • Dave says:

      EXACTLY!
      I do not have ANY (**un**)social media profiles.
      I have NO desire to share my information with anyone, particularly with some of the idiots on ‘social’ sites (who’s puerile commenting is matched only by their inability to communicate).
      Trustpilot will lose a lot of useful feedback by insisting on this approach.

  5. Dave says:

    Facebook and trust don’t belong in the same sentence, unless “total lack of” are in between. Hope other sites don’t insist on facebook log in cos say goodbye to security and hello to identity theft and spam. If this is compulsory I’ll say goodbye now.

    • John Peterson says:

      Unfortunately TrustPilot just doesn´t get it… until the posted reviews will be decimated to null. I guess it doesn´t realize that there are other review sites out there. See ya!

  6. euphoriabuzz says:

    Surely if you wish people to write honest reviews they will not necessarily wish to give their name when writing about a bad experience they have had. When did Facebook become a security company? people on there may well be under a fake name for many different reasons. I can see the need for eliminating fake or multiple reviewers but do not think FB is necessarily the answer to that.

  7. euphoriabuzz says:

    I notice TrustPilot do not seem to have a Facebook page! surely this needs rectifying before you ask people to use it themselves?

    • euphoriabuzz says:

      Sorry, finally found your FB page.

  8. Steve Pennington says:

    Well done and it’s about time. Trustpilot may be familiar with my rants against the irrelevancy of many of your reviews. I see that folk are already complaining that this is too big a step to take but it becomes a question of quality over quantity and in this case, quality is definitely the more important of the two. I’m certain that businesses recognise this.

    No doubt some of the folk complaining are likely the type of reviewer who use the ‘cut & paste’ method of review!

    • E.S. says:

      This “Steve Pennington” must be a young dude and a spell checker. Anyway, he writes as an unmature boy.
      Ours world would be better off without “it” (including F.B. and and those alike). The boy sounds like a Trustpilot employee.

    • D. K. says:

      These guys supporting Trust Pilot policy must be their employees or employees of companies that deserve bad reviews. There are other ways to check validity of people who wrote it. When you are cheated, you don’t want the whole world to know about it, and some people simply prefer their privacy. And, when it comes to spelling, not all the people are from English speech areas, so have in mind that for some people it is foreign language. I bet that this Steve Pennington knows grammar and spelling of all world languages, and just loves Stalin (or he would love him if he knew about his existence).

  9. Steve Pennington says:

    Holy Smoke…just read Jette’s comments in full! Bejesus, grow up dude. This is ID verification, common now around the internet and becoming more so simply because folk can’t be trusted to act in a mature adult manner when anonymity is guaranteed. Blame human nature, not Trustpilot or your newspaper blogging site.

    Oh, and consider investing in a spell check programme…

    Online communism….dear me!!

    • Jette’s comments represent a mindset shared by many. Anyone who thinks otherwise is optimistic to the point of foolishness. They’ll come around, but we’re not there yet.

  10. matthew laine says:

    i dont have facebook. i dont want facebook. daft idea!

    • Carl says:

      Totally agree. I don’t have and will never have Facebook. Not everyone is a self obsessed attention seeker. A number of companies are now missing out on good reviews because of the obsession with social media. Not everyone is a fraud, just because they do not use social media. I actually prefer real friends who I can see and talk to, rather than have people following my every move who I haven’t seen since I was a toddler, but still think they know me, even though they wouldn’t recognise me in the street.

  11. agerbo says:

    Hvad skal det engelske idioti gøre godt for?
    Jeg er ikke Facebook bruger og bliver det heller ikke da jeg nægter at lade mine personlige oplysninger bruge i kommercielt øjemed og slet ikke på en måde der er ulovlig i forhold til EU direktiver omkring persondata beskyttelse.
    En mangeårig trustpilot anmelder.

  12. roadcred says:

    I think login using FB is the way forward. I use it for all my optin forms now as it is the only certain way to get a real email address.
    However there is still some risk as there are many people with huge numbers of FB accounts.
    But it is a small step in the right direction.
    People should not be afraid of signing in with their Facebooks….its about the only good reason to have one!

    • Sundgaard says:

      Well… you dont think there is a risk with using facebook?? My CAT have a facebook account! AND 50+ friends!
      And YES people should be afraid of logging in with there facebook. think about it… there is a COMPANY that have ALL your information; where you live, where you work, where you have worked, where you have been going to school, who your dating, who you dated, how long you dated, how many kids you have, what names they have, how many online friends they have, how old they are, what things they like, how you and your family looks like.
      Now they have access to your trustpilot, your games (games which have access to your friends profiles, and if you use smartphones to play facebook games, they have there telefonenumbers as well!!!), your email, and what ever you use to logon with facebook… all in ONE company and it’s collaborators. If BIG BROTHER did not exist, it sure do now. And to think we are giving all privacy up for FREE.

      I have a facebook account, I just mind what im putting in it, and what I use it for. Do NOT trust a company to handle all of your daily life. It’s not the state. And YES they may keep and sell your information under canadian law, i believe, so dont close your eyes and hope for the best o.O

  13. Palle Larsen says:

    It’s great to see you are doing something to minimize the fakeabuse.

    I have no problem with linking to facebook, I don’t have to do it, I’ve used Trustpilot a long time, but I choose to do it, simply because I think it’s a good idea.

    Keep up the good work.

  14. Eugene Nyunt says:

    FB doesn’t help verify somebody’s identity; it could well be invented on that social feed as well. And aren’t you assuming people are gullible, taking others’ comments as objective; surely most people realize that posts or reviews are just that – personal interpretations of some product.

  15. Jan Korup says:

    FB is spam spoiling your job, your family and your life. If anyone try to connect me to FB to create a partnership, they will loose me as a customer.

    • agerbo says:

      Helt enig!

  16. Marie says:

    Min hund har en facebook profil. Er hans anmeldelser så mere værd end mine?!

    Synes det er en tragisk tendens at alt skal kædes sammen med Facebook. Hvad rager det folk på TP om jeg kan lide dans, snakker fransk og går til madlavning?!

    Er alle firmaer blevet for små til at stå alene nu?!
    Ville verden gå under hvis Facebook en dag konstaterede det kunne være morsomt at lukke.

    Gør TP det til en pligt at man connecter gennem FB, så er jeg færdig med TP ligesom jeg er færdig med at stole på de kommentarer der kommer.

    En profil på FB er ligeså nem at forfalske som alt andet.

    Mega usselt initiativ.

  17. Joakim Ditlev says:

    Wauw, that’s a lot of comments coming in the last couple of days. At Trustpilot we appreciate the feedback and from this debate – and dialogues we had with users elsewhere – it highlights our assumption: Not everybody is in favor of Facebook and it’s a good – but not perfect way to improve quality of the reviews. Other options to validate user profiles is work in progress.
    Thanks for the feedback so far. It’s really useful.

  18. Mark Barner says:

    I don’t know if it’s mentioned but everyone can easily just create a fake Facebook profile with no problem – so this will only get harder to find the fake profiles!

  19. Ernie the Hamster says:

    Hi, well, my owner set me up with a Facebook page, so despite being nothing more than an intelligent hamster, I now enjoying using the internet. I type using a specially adapted running wheel. My Facebook identity even allows me to review windsurfing lessons – from a rodent’s perspective, of course.

    I do have an observation for all these humans. Ultimately, the only verification available via Trustpilot or Facebook is having access to an email address. And that is not difficult to obtain.

    • Joakim Ditlev says:

      :-)

      • rammy121 says:

        well done ernie!! i wonder if my guppy can get an FB account :-)

  20. Robert says:

    What about the companies who instantly report bad reviews?? You need to build a more robust review system.. none of the reviews i’ve seen which competitors try to remove name names, or products to me.

    When companies refuse to use the verified buyer system it leads to fraudulent reviews and hyper editing of bad reviews.

    I hope you spend more time and effort on this as it will lead to customer retention and more importantly

    Trust.

    • Joakim Ditlev says:

      @Robert The issue you raise is something we are looking into as well. I can’t give you more details or an expected launch date yet, but we believe we found a good way to improve this.

  21. Rudi says:

    I think this is a good idea – its extremely important that reviews are not “invented”. the quality is important not the numbers!

  22. Lennart says:

    I’m not sure FB is the right way. Personally I’m leaving a site that requires me to login via Facebook. I think to just remove the possibility torate if you haven’t purchased anything. It would make t more fair to the shop owners and customers could then attach a reciept to an upload field if they have had a purchase earlier and wishes to use it now or for offline stores.

  23. I think that FB doesn’t provide an appropriate warranty of genuine feedbacks. It’s important to consider that a lot of Customers don’t have a FB account and that there are a lot of fake and multiple accounts.
    To assure a better level of security I think that Trustpilot must turn off definitely the option to insert a feedback without an order code and, probably most important, Trustpilot must have an automatic system that recognizes the email sended from a real shopping cart (in this case the feedback is certified) and manually from a merchant email (feedback not certified). I’m actually using this last type of sending because of a better manage, but I understand that this system can be better with a rigid method.

  24. NoFacebook says:

    I do not have a facebook account and will not be getting one anytime in the near future. I will therefore not be using Trust Pilot for posting or even reading reviews any longer.

  25. Sophie says:

    I do not have facebook because it is simply a waste of my time. I did have it, but got rid of it for reasons. Now to find people need it to sign up for things? Not a good idea…I wanna be able to do things without it!!

  26. Hvordan får man adgang til dette unikke link uden at være betalende bruger hos Trustpilot???

    • Joakim Ditlev says:

      @René to answer your question on how to get access to the unique link. It’s a part of our premium services, so the only way to get access to it is by signing up with Trustpilot.

  27. Kaare Kristiansen says:

    According to an article on CNN.com (02-aug-2012), Facebook have recently said that roughly 83 million of 955 million active profiles are either fake or duplicates.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2012-08-02/tech/tech_social-media_facebook-fake-accounts_1_facebook-accounts-facebook-profiles-facebook-estimates

    You mention that potentially a future validation requirement could be a minimum number of friends on Facebook.
    Imagine 83 milion fake profiles each having 82.999.999 equally fake friends :-D

    I am pro activities that reduces fake reviews, but requiring Facebook membership garanties nothing and neither does requiring membership of other social medias.

  28. Karsten Denmark says:

    I will never give away information or rights to any app.
    No app need my friendlist for anything but spam.
    This Trustpilot app claims the right to make postings on my behalf!!!! of any company that i reviewed.

  29. Leif says:

    I have just been invited by a company to write a review on Trustpilot. I have not previously registered with Trustpilot but I’d like to now since I want to praise the company in question. However, I am NOT able to sign up unless I also sign up to Facebook, something I have neither the time nor interest for. Above you state that it should be possible to register without having a Facebook account IF you are invited by a company. I don’t see that option – please let me know how I can do it.

  30. Ole Kramer says:

    Det er jo bare ærgeligt at folk uden en FB konto ikke kan anmelde en virksomhed. Tænk sig ikke længere positiv eller negativ feedback til virksomhederne hvis ikke liiiiiige man har en FB konto

    FB har fået for meget magt,det er alle vegne!

  31. Even eBay’s til now unable to make sure, that all users are real!
    I think, FB’s not the right Partner to make sure that all registrated trustpilot-Users are real.
    There must be another way to get a successful registration without being @ FB.
    I know, this requires a more time intensive legitimation, but I’m sure too, there are better ways to get fakes off trustpilot.
    Maybe like the PayPal-registration o.s.
    Have a look at your most active users, and please don’t put us in front of the door.

    • Joakim Ditlev says:

      Hi Thomas,
      Thanks for commenting. As the post states, Facebook is not the perfect solution and we are looking into other options to verify user accounts.
      /Joakim

      • NickyT says:

        DATING sites have verification methods. Look at them…

      • George says:

        Nine months later and you are still looking. Not looking hard enough obviously and I suspect only once you feel TrustPilot is suffering from the FB only policy, will you then offer alternatives.

        Too late for me now, I will not use you in the future even if you add other login options.

  32. Cobol says:

    Why I cannot log-in using my facebook account?

    • Joakim Ditlev says:

      @Cobol – thanks for reaching out. I don’t have an answer, but feel free to reach out to support@trustpilot.com and add some details about what type of computer and browser you are using. They can probably help you.
      /Joakim

  33. JohandB says:

    As fa as I am concerned, it is ok-practice to require people to expose their identity when posting reviews. It adds to the trust of the information and makes you think about balancing your views before posting them. My objection against using FB for login is, that one needs to allow TP and/or FB to post their messages on MY FB page that I cannot control. I hate these apps that send out messages to everyone in your friends list that you have checked into some place or achieved such and so result in a ridiculous online game. I will no longer add reviews to Trustpilot (or any other site requiring FB login) until I have my control back of any message on my personal FB page.

    • Joakim Ditlev says:

      Hi JohandB,
      Thanks for commenting. You actually do have the option to control whether reviews should be shared on Facebook. Please check the social settings under your user profile. Another option is to change it directly in Facebook under account settings -> Apps where you manage all other apps.
      /Joakim

  34. Niall says:

    I wanted to leave some feedback for a company from which I had great service. However I no longer have a Facebook account, so am now unable to do so.

    • Carl says:

      So did I, but it appears if you do not have a Facebook account, you do no exist.

  35. Jason says:

    Wow, a major step backwards in terms of website usability! There are millions of people without Facebook who are effectively excluded from this website. I would argue that policy invalidates your mission statement: Clearly not an “open, community based platform”, rather a platform exclusively for Facebook users.

    I received an invite from a shop to leave a review, but am unable to accomplish this without a Facebook account.

    Who’s reviewing the review sites?

  36. Simon says:

    I agree with the above trustpilot is obviously not really interested in getting real people to give their views. I do not have a facebook account I do not want a facebook account. So sorry trustpilot, you continue building your facebook business…maybe one day you will realise that you are excluding the majority of the world.

  37. Tom says:

    I have no intention of getting a facebook account so
    my poor experience will not be recorded for the benifit of others.

  38. Sundgaard says:

    I dont like the idea of facebook connect as the only option. I have a facebook account but will not use it for these porpuses.
    I rather have to verify my identity by telling you my Paypal account instead, and then create my account independently with that as a “real-ID”.
    It’s more secure, because it’s a real bank… they require a lot of info, and it’s hard to open an paypal without real id’s. Trust me, I have had my probs with identifien my selfs to them.

  39. Johnoc says:

    After a purchase from an online webstore I wanted to rate the store because it had no previous ratings. So I tried to create an account on trustpilot and was amazed to see that you require my facebook in order to sign up for it. I consider facebook a private media and only my friends are allowed to see pictures and information about me and would never associate my facebook to a 3rd party enterprise like trustpilot. I aknowledge that you might have problems with fake user profiles, but surely there must be another way around this problem. We have a saying in Danish called “Don’t pie in your pants to keep yourself warm” and to be honest this is what you have have done with this rule in my opinion. I’m certainly not signing up as long as this rule applies, eventhough I purchase items on the internet on a regular basis and enjoy the ratings on trustpilot.

  40. Dave Oxford says:

    I was puzzled to find that I was expected to sign up via Facebook, and only directed to this page when I raised a technical query. So, please, Trustpilot, direct people to this debate via a link on the sign up page. Thanks.

    It’s good to see a review company attempting to minimise fake reviews.

    The issues seem to boil down to these:

    Net anonymity enables fake reviews to be posted, but true identities enable unwanted data collection by large companies.

    I fear the former more than the latter, so am happy to use my true identity.

    I don’t want a FB account, so please, Trustpilot, find another way. I’m dying to pass on my shopping experiences just as I regularly do on Amazon.

    Dave Oxford

  41. maddiem says:

    Was going to sign up to leave reviews but linking to Facebook is not acceptable. I don’t want people on there to see what I’m up to nor have access to my personal details which is required. There are other ways to verify.

  42. Calum says:

    I don’t have Facebook and don’t plan on getting one. I understand your reasoning, but Facebook only is going to stop a lot of reviewers including myself from signing up.

  43. Calum says:

    If you don’t get rid of the Facebook only login, you should at least add Twitter and G+.

  44. TechThat says:

    Trustpilot are not what they seem they foster fake reviews from scammers like WAE+ all you have to do is look at their reviews on this company you’ll see a multitude of fake 5 star reviews many at the same time. It’s an absolute joke that they guide people to these pirates for people to lose their money.

  45. NickyT says:

    Facebook is NOT a trustworthy site, as anyone who follows tech trends knows.

    I could also set up multiple identities with different email addresses on FB; they don’t check this stuff.

    FB is a complete time-wasting pit, thief of marketing information, and all-around POS.

    Don’t even think about Twitter, that’s for children, politicians, and famous “personalities.” Who uses this that’s older than 12 that has a triple-digit IQ, and is not forced to?

    HEY, ARE YOU GETTING THE PICTURE, READING THESE REVIEWS?

  46. John S says:

    Facebook is deal killer. They have no scruples, and I’d be leery of any company that associated with them.

    Looking at reviews for hotelsone.com, I see the usual 4 and 5 star, overly gushy reviews that reek of fakeness.

    It’s a tough problem, but I don’t think Facebook is the answer.

  47. chris says:

    trustpilot + facebook = bad idea and a farewell from me.

  48. Roman says:

    I don’t mind Facebook in principle. I don’t mind my TrustPilot profile being linked to my Facebook account.

    I DO mind that you get my birthday, my location, the right to post on my behalf, and my facebook-specific email address. If Facebook didn’t give you those, I’d be happy.

    But as long as it does, it’s a no-go.

  49. Mike Murphy says:

    At the top of this discussion , it is stated that you either require a FB account ( which I deliberately do not have ) to register OR a recent supplier/seller can Invite you to review which removes the need for a FB account. I have received such an invite but unless your email is an existing registered TP email , then it insists on a FB account .. pity as company would have received a 5* review but now will not get same.. pity

  50. John says:

    What will stop the so called companies out there setting up fake facebook accounts and posting reviews here?.. I stopped using facebook years ago, I have a legit complaint for a company who have scammed me over £200 pound!. I find it frustrating that I can’t voice my complaint here.

  51. Sandra Dale says:

    I note my review was originally added, but has now been removed pending investigation. However I am very sad to discover it seems it is now mandatory to have a facebook account in order to post reviews as I do not have, nor plan to have a Facebook account.

  52. adrian says:

    Well thats bloody brilliant, I just spent 25 mins typing a review about the awful service that I received from city link, only to find I can’t post it as I don’t have a facebook account!

    Twats, 1 star for you trustpilot, how can you be taken seriously when only people who use facebook can sign up?

  53. Kris says:

    I just went to give a review of a company that has treated me terribly, I was shocked I could not because I do not have a facebook account, I deleted it because lets be honest facebook is about what everyone else is doing and you end up spending more time looking at what others do than do yourself.

    I emailed Trustpilot regarding this and the email I got back made me feel like I had been the side effect of a culling of unwanted reviewers.

    I am a genuine person, I am about to spend a lot of money setting up a new workshop and I want to be able to give my good and bad experiences in the way of reviews, but now I am told this is not possible because I don’t run with the crowd.

    I know I’m far from the only person out here that thinks this stinks.

    Kris

  54. Cindy says:

    I wished to give an honest review of a company who deserved a 10 star recognition. I was not allowed to participate because I do not (and will not) have a FB or other social media account. I treasure my privacy but would like to be able to contribute. This is the first company that I have encountered that used TrustPilot and the restrictions on who can comment may be the reason why.

  55. Chris Davis says:

    While I appreciate that Trust Pilot need some degree of verification, entrusting this to a social media concoction which has an established reputation for treating its users and their confidential data with something little short of contempt is ridiculous. I have been advised that they are looking at Twitter and Google +. To this I can only say that looking at an appalling way of verification and then trying to improve it by adding two more equally appalling ways is hardly a step forward.
    I would suggest that this be very thoroughly reviewed. There are other ways than forcing sensible people to share their information in a thoroughly haphazard way.
    All you are doing is reducing (not eliminating) fake reviews by dis-enfrachising a huge number of people (in fact, the majority of internet users) who have the good sense to steer well clear of social media sites.

  56. Tom says:

    I am really disappointed with this decision by Trust Pilot. I do not have a Facebook account, or any other social media account, and I have no intention of having one.
    As I understand it, when making a review, you have to place a customer or order ID before the review is accepted. Surely this makes it possible to check if reviews are genuine ?
    To be honest, I feel somewhat insulted by Trust Pilot that my integrity, and my good intentions to offer a genuine review, is being questioned !

  57. christian says:

    Ironically, because of this policy of only using FB I no longer trust TrustPilot and their reviews become useless to me. I have no FB account and need no FB account, just like millions of others.

    I had intended to review a company who sold poor quality goods. On two other review sites the reviews for this company are overwhelmingly poor. On TrustPilot they are positive. Makes me wonder why.

    Christian

  58. Todd says:

    Trust Pilot is letting the public down. I wanted to leave a review which would have helped other consumers, but I will never leave a review if I have to do this via Facebook. Reading the comments above, this view is clearly shared by many others. I agree with Tom (above) that the order ID is sufficient to verify that someone is genuine. If not, please state why this is the case.

  59. Dudley says:

    It is absurd that one is held to ransom for using their Facebook account and Trustpilot has gone too far!

    Not only am I a genuine person whom was going to alert potential customers as to two of my online retail store experiences (one very good and one to be cautious of), but consumers will never see my experience with those stores because of this absurd policy requiring Facebook.

    Further to that I no longer feel the necessity to check Trustpilots reviews knowing that so many potential genuine consumers would never have got to post their reviews and experiences; whom did not agree to the Facebook requirement and therefore didn’t join.

    It seems like every website/company is obsessed on ‘latching’ onto peoples personal Facebook accounts in some form or another and violating peoples privacy as they are held to ransom with Facebook becoming very vulnerable holding masses of peoples personal information.

  60. Daniel p says:

    Bye Bye Trustpilot :)
    A step too far I’m afraid, keep enforcing this and you’ll be gone within a year.
    Ultimately this site has become an extension of facebook with only facebook users reviews being shown. it doesn’t represent the true public experience just that of a few and now just isn’t relevant.
    Wont be using you anymore.

  61. Hansjörg Schwer says:

    It is a pity that I wrote a report in vain, only to learn that I have to register with facebook.
    Btw. I have a FB account, I only don’t want to share mail address, friends list, birthday, profile data with Zendesk and trustpilot; even worse, I have to accept that they may use my data for whatever they want.
    I also have a fake FB account, which I used in the past in order to check what can be seen from my real FB account. Should I really register with that one? I prefer to appear with my real name, I only don’t want to allow to use all my data.
    In addition, I have blogs, a web site, I am a verified user in other portals like holidaycheck or trip advisor, and the fact that I am writing this here should be a proof that I am a real person.
    If you’ll have one day another verification solution without FB or google+, you may drop me a note

  62. Martin says:

    So to post a review I need to give Trustpilot access to My public profile, friend list, email address, birthday and current city. That’s a bit too intrusive just for posting a review I’m afraid. I don’t mind FB for login, but I don’t see why you need to take those details.

  63. Janet says:

    I too wanted to leave a review and although I do have a Facebook account I do not want TrustPilot to have access to my FB information.

    Will have to review elsewhere.

  64. George says:

    Have wanted to write a few reviews, both good and bad and after writing them found a facebook login is needed.

    I choose not to use facebook and never will, as do many others. To exclude those without a facebook account is extremely bad practise.

    You should state that a facebook account is needed before the Write review box is shown. I wrote a long review only to find out after it was for no reason. I shall copy and paste it to some other review site instead, that doesn’t treat non-facebebook users as leppers. My next review will be on Trustpilot and you can guess that it will be a bad review.

  65. Alan says:

    Seen a number of references to Trustpilot so thought I would sign-up in order to leave a review. Astonished that I need to have a Facebook account – something I’ve consciously stayed away from for years.

    Oh well – no review will be published and I’ve already lost faith in Trustpilot as I suspect many negative reviews are now not being published, especially if the only real alternative to having a Facebook account is to leave a review by company invitation. I hardly think a company will invite a review from a customer to whom it has provided a poor service and/or shoddy goods.

    I’m not impressed with Trustpilot, to say the least!

  66. Terry says:

    Why on earth do I need a Facebook account to use a review site. There must be other alternatives to verifying reviews than only allow people how have social media accounts!

    Very poor…

    I agree with the previous review, I can’t see many companys sending an invitation to review them when they have had a compliant from that person.

    I used to use Trustpilot to check a website before I purchased from them. I didn’t realise all the reviews were from facebook only users. I will look elsewhere until this changes.

    • Bertrand Carton says:

      Hi Terry, and thanks for your comment.
      You don’t need a Facebook account to check reviews. In order to write a review, there are 2 options:
      - you can either receive a review invitation from a company you bought for, in which case you will not need to use Facebook, as we have enough information to verify that you are one of the company’s customers.From that moment you will have a Trustpilot account, which you can use to write other any other reviews you’d like
      - you use the Facebook Connect feature in order to write reviews that haven’t been solicited by companies.

      We are aware of the fact that not everyone likes to use Facebook and are therefore experimenting with new login possibilities. Like you read in the article, we use Facebook login to ensure review quality, but we are increasingly using new and better tools for that, which you can read more about why here

      Just note that only a small minority of reviews are written with Facebook-only users. You can for instance see next to some reviews the note “$ Review by confirmed purchaser”, which means that the customer has been invited to leave a review by the company and/or has sent a proof of purchase to Trustpilot.

      Regards,
      Bertrand Carton

  67. J Robinson says:

    I was about to rejoin Trustpilot but when I was told that it had to be through Facebook I changed my mind and I now will not rejoin Trustpilot. Well done Trustpilot on a poor decision.

  68. cf says:

    Well, those of you who have given TRUSTPILOT free rein of your FB details are going to be popular with your friends when they are bombarded with c$@p from TP and all their 3rd parties!(Oh yes they will, don’t be so naive.) Oh, but the bright-side is you’ll get a lovely HAPPY BIRTHDAY email from TP, that’s nice.

  69. Kate says:

    I wanted to leave a genuine review for an unacceptable service to warn others. I do have a facebook account but I would never ever use it to connect to external website or apps or anything else of that nature. My private information will not be shared, stored, or sold if I can help it. Therefore, so long trustpilot. I have an order number, receipt, and images to prove that I genuinely received the service – yet, I am unable to do anything unless I choose the TP to access a lot of my otherwise private details via facebook. NEVER! Yet fake facebook members (and hamsters as above) are able to post without any other proof but a fake facebook account. Great – that’s a way to make things better… NOT! Is trustpilot to blind to see beyond their ‘genius’ facebook idea of eradicating fakes?

  70. rich says:

    this method (TrustPilot/Facebook) is not stopping fake reviews !

  71. Paul says:

    Awful, Awful, using FB does not guarantee or even reduce fake reviews. Goodbye TrustPilot, I would review you but I need a facebook account to post a review where I can negatively review your ridiculous money making deal (selling OUR data) with facebook (why else would someone REALLY insist on a facebook connect as the ONLY option?)
    Companies only EVERY say things are better for quality/customer if they make more money out of it.

  72. Pauk Adams says:

    I can see what you’re trying to do in tightening up on bogus reviews but I don’t have a Facebook account have no intention of opening one. I’d like to share my recent unsatisfactory experience of a company (which incidentally has much in common with two other reviews already posted) but won’t be able to now. I think you’ve created a barrier that will prevent access for a large section of the community – surely this can’t be what you want.
    Paul Adams

    • Bertrand Carton says:

      Hi Paul,
      Sorry for the late answer. I understand your frustration regarding Facebook login. Rest assured that we are working on alternative solutions. But we are very careful in each decision we take in order to not affect review quality negatively. Facebook is just one way of verifying identities. We will announce new features on the blog so make sure that you follow us. Subscribe to one of our social channels, newsletter or RSS feed to get the most recent updates.
      Thanks,
      Bertrand

  73. Martin Davies says:

    Was given a direct TP link from a supplier to review a product but still couldn’t post review without verifying via FB (or already having a TP account). No reviews from me (good or bad) on TP until this problem is fixed. I’m happy to verify my identity one-to-one but I’m not giving direct access to my FB, Google+ (or any other social media) profiles.

    • Bertrand Carton says:

      Hi Martin, thanks for your comment.
      If the supplier you mentioned was using Trustpilot’s business features, then it wouldn’t have to ask you to sign in via Facebook, since all its customers would automatically be verified ones. This is the reason why so many companies turn into Trustpilot. By collecting reviews automatically, companies usually get a 5 to 7 % response rate. By asking their customers manually, they would get less than 0,5%. We will soon open for new login options for new users, so Facebook will not become mandatory.
      Thanks for reading.
      Bertrand

      • Dave says:

        “since all its customers would automatically be verified ones”
        NOT TRUE THOUGH…IS IT?!!
        You Can ONLY review if you use a FB account… Which, like many others, I will NEVER have!

  74. Vincent says:

    Simply said:
    I certainly don’t want a facebook account,
    and you will not get any review from my part or likes until this “commercial bug” is fixed.

    • Bertrand Carton says:

      Bonsoir Vincent.
      Vous pouvez si vous le souhaitez créer un compte sans passer par Facebook, simplement avec une adresse email, en allant sur trustpilot.com. La fonctionnalité sera bientôt disponible sur trustpilot.fr, mais vous pourrez quoiqu’il arrive utiliser votre compte sur n’importe quel site Trustpilot. Merci.
      Cordialement,
      Bertrand Carton
      Trustpilot

      • Kelly Gilman says:

        Bertrand – quelle bonne idee, mais ca ne marche plus. Merci pour la suggestion.

  75. Kelly Gilman says:

    You’ll get just as many fake reviews by using this ‘Facebook only’ ridiculousness. It’s all too Big Brother for me. I was going to review a company here but will go elsewhere.

  76. Adam says:

    So to write a review I have to sign up for a facebook account? I gather to do that I just enter an email address and a name and I’m done. Not that secure then, I think I’ll just not bother.

    I wanted to leave a good review for a company I’ve had a great experience with but I can’t be bothered with having to create a facebook account, this is lazy and ignorant, just passing the buck.

    I’d only make effort if I had something bad to say.

  77. Mike says:

    Please make this clearer on your ‘share a review’ page.
    I (was going to be) a first time reviewer of a company of trustpilot. I spent 20 minutes typing the review of the company, and only after clicking ‘post and verify by email’ was I told I needed a FB account.
    I don’t have a FB account.
    You wasted my time.

    My trustpilot score for trustpilot. 1 star.

    P.S. Hope you appreciate the irony of me being able to post this comment without a FB account.

    • Non Facebook Account Holder says:

      Funny how there are no more posts after 4th October isn’t it!?
      Probably all the FB users are too busy posting purile crap to each other to post here.

      And NOBODY else can now. :-)

      TrustPilot=0… FarceBook=LESS!

    • Donna Armstrong says:

      As Mike says it takes time to write a review, only to get (proudly) to the end and find you need a Face Book account. WHAAAATTT!! It had already asked for my account number (not bank btw)

      I was so furious at the treatment I received from First Utility I had to vent that on a review site. TP looked good. Sadly I ended up having to copy and paste it for another time and place.

      I do have a Face book account but I use it for emergencies only to contact my son who lives overseas, bit sad if I then open up this up to Jo public to see a woman ranting to an energy company when she actually has no friends!!

  78. James says:

    This facebook account requirement is a hopeless and narrow minded approach. Not sure how trustpilot makes its money but I give it a year before it goes out of business.
    I was asked to enter a review for Autoglass and filled in the details. After plugging away with no obvious way to post it (as I discovered it’s becaused I don’t have a facebook account) and though quite clearly being ‘invited’ by some 3rd party trusted company as we are assured here by Joakim will work – it didn’t work. Out of curiosity, having found myself redirected at some point, I went straight to the Trustpilot website and found this thread (top entry when Googled ‘why doesn’t trustpilot work without a facebook account’ – infamy already).

    So my opinion:
    1. This company is too mean and unprofessional to work its own membership system and so attempts to hijack facebook’s own ‘validation’ and membership system to fortify its own (weak) position in the web community. A sure sign of a defective brand and a flawed business strategy.
    2. You’re wasting people’s time and this annoys them so they don’t bother writing reviews apart from about YOUR company. Big mistake.
    3. The result will be that the brand will disappear down the toilet of lame websites quicker than those idiots who show up on Dragon’s Den with a flip chart and hope of a million pound investment.
    4. Reevoo and Trustattrader have nothing to worry about with this mickey-mouse company – who’s going to check this website for opinions?
    5. I might have got it all wrong and this is a pathetic way of the Trustpilot prostrating itself before the bank of Mark Zuckerberg – by kissing the ass of facebook they’re hoping for a buy-out and a villa in the sun. Don’t hold your breath my friends.

  79. Jack says:

    Hello.

    After using Parcel2Go, at the end of a live chat with customer service I was asked to leave a review on Trustpilot. I was happy to do so, so tried to sign up, but wasn’t able to do so as I don’t have a Facebook account, and I have no intention of creating (or restoring my old closed one!).

    I think it’s complete madness to turn away potential new users simply because they don’t have and don’t want a Facebook account, and made that known via message to Trustpilot, to which they replied.

    “Currently it is not possible to register as a new user on Trustpilot without using Facebook Connect, unless you have received a unique link from a company based on a specific purchase.

    We no longer allow users to register without any kind of verification. This is part of our move towards ensuring all Trustpilot users are genuine persons.”

    My reply..

    “Ok that’s understandable, but you should know just because a person has a Facebook account, does not make them ‘genuine persons’. Facebook accounts are easier faked, so while you may avoid a few fake reviews in your current processes, you are also missing out on a great number of potential new users by not allowing those without a Facebook account to sign up. Worst still, you will be losing those potential users to other review sites, and with that of course plenty of ad revenue loss.

    Something for thought I think. Best of luck.”

    I think I will let Parcel2Go know about this as they too will be affected as they are potentially missing out on good reviews. That’s all I have to say. I have no more time to waste on this, so will more on to other and more welcoming review sites.

  80. Jack says:

    Further more, if I was to open a new Facebook account, it would be a fake one simply setup so I can sign up to sites like this. This of course proves my previous point and makes a mockery of the reason why you only accept users with Facebook accounts.

  81. Jack says:

    Oh and one last thing..

    Trustpilot’s Automatic Feedback Service doesn’t work for new users, at least not for me.

    I was invited to leave feedback by Parcel2go, with a direct pop up screen, but my positive review went to waste, as once I had finished writing it, I was asked to sign-in via Facebook. Despite a company inviting me to leave feedback, where if I’ve understand correctly I shouldn’t need a Facebook account to do so, I clearly wasn’t able to as I was still prompted to log in via Facebook.

    Guess I had more time to waste on this after all, as this problem of needing a Facebook account to sign up to completely unrelated sites, is a growing and very annoying trend. I fully appreciate the need to avoid fake reviews, but you must come up with a better way than this; as you are not only losing new users and revenue, but run the risk of receiving bad reviews yourself!

  82. Jack says:

    Wow, nice censorship! The title of this comment section read’s ‘Speak Your Mind’ and so I did. Despite making valid points in a professional manner, you decided to delete them? Touch a nerve?

    Good job I took a copy, which I have already emailed to Parcel2Go. Instead of censoring, perhaps you should consider my points and try to fix this problem. I will of course be avoiding Trustpilot from now on and will advise others to do the same.

  83. Peter says:

    Honest reviews? Rubbish! If you don’t want to be on Facebook, only customers ‘allowed’ by companies get a say – guess what kind of customers those will be….

    I wasted 15 minutes finding my order number and writing a review before being told that I couldn’t submit it.

  84. web page says:

    Great article.

  85. Craig says:

    I know from our customers comments that even though we ask all customers “around 70 per week” To leave a review on Trustpilot the VAST majority wont because of the facebook app. Its a real shame and i do understand the fake review and malicious review issues. There must be another way as we have tested it and it doesnt really work for the consumer and the business being reviewed. No to slate trustpilot as they are trying but i can assure you that the facebook add means less reviews.
    We have done a survey and these are our findings
    Kind Regards

  86. I want nothing to do with facebook. However, I do wish to provide honest, concise, and informative first-hand experiences with businesses.

    Why would you force someone outside of the US to surrender all of their personal details to a company with which they have no interest?

    I certainly will not be part of the facebook obsession. Your assertion that by causing members to enrol via this scheme will somehow validate the writer simply holds no validity, whatsoever. It is just as easy to manipulate facebook as it is to manipulate any other programme.

    Generally, common intelligence will help the average individual determine what is real and what is spurious. Should there be suspicions that a submission is indeed spurious, then establish an identifier to attach to the comment, until such time as the submitter validates themselves. Failure to do so will cause the submission to expire after 72 hours. Seems rather simple and expedient!

    Father Bill Haymaker+

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  88. Boz says:

    As an over 50 year old, I do NOT use facebook or other such tosh. I really do NOT want others spying on me, nor do I want to share my sad life. That’s why I have an email address, a car & a telephone to keep in contact with friends.

    I guess I’m old skool & prefer social interaction with real friends rather than fake, online friends.

    Using someone’s email address (verified) is a good option to be able to write a comment on services received from a company. Maybe being able to write the receipt number with the comment will help get rid of fake derogatory reviews and get rid of ‘company employees’ leaving good reviews (I’ve seen a few on here).

    No system is perfect, but adding a receipt number would help.

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