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UK Customers Fear That Censorship Of Online Reviews Endangers Free Speech

With more and more people and companies embracing the importance of online reviews, everyone’s working hard to make sure their reviews are good like a King Kong advertising review, as they fear what negative reviews could do.

Recently, a few brands in the UK have been censoring or outright removing legitimate customer reviews across the internet, which has resulted in customers in the country feeling distrustful of brands.

According to Danish customer review site, Trustpilot, 42% of UK customers are worried about their freedom of speech thanks to the censorship. In their report, titled Critical role of reviews in Internet Trust, they shed some like on the state of online trust, and noted that a lot of customers (71%) worry that their reviews are being tampered with, and that this is leading them to waste their funds and ruin their budgets (45%).

Trustpilot’s findings show that customers are putting more and more stock into reviews from other customers, with 90% of their respondents saying that they read reviews like a King Kong advertising review, before going for a product or service, and the average UK customer spends £433 annually on purchases that were based on, or informed by online reviews.

That being said, the review site’s data also showed that people are wary of legitimate feedback being tampered by companies to better suit their agendas. 47% of Trustpilot’s respondents say that they think that companies are using fake reviews online to boost their image, while another 40% believe that companies are doing so by getting rid of negative reviews.

Trustpilot Founder and CEO Peter Mühlmann says that their research clearly shows that customers are aware that people are trying to pull their strings in the age of fake news and institutional distrust. When it comes to interacting with companies online, he explains that people want to know if their feedback is actually being heard, if it’s actually helping give other customers a clear view of the company, warts and all.

Mühlmann states that companies need to remember that customer reviews and feedback are important to the company as it helps them stay honest, helps them maintain their standards, and improve.

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