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Olivia McNaughten
Product Marketing Manager @ Yotpo
January 20th, 2021

How Yotpo Is Working with the FTC to Promote an Authentic Review Experience

We’ve made some changes to our moderation that help support best review practices.

Table Of Contents

We talk a lot about the importance of authentic reviews here at Yotpo, and how brands should publish all of their reviews, even the bad ones.

To ensure that we’re creating a safe environment for brands and trustworthy experience for consumers, we have worked with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the past several months to implement changes to our moderation that help support best review practices while continuing to give brands full control of their content.

Focusing on fair review practices

The FTC has recently increased their scrutiny over review moderation practices to ensure that the process is not biased towards positive reviews, and maintains an accurate representation of the reviewers’ opinions. At the same time, they acknowledge that brands should be allowed to reject reviews for a variety of legitimate reasons.

Yotpo shares the belief that showing both good and bad reviews on-site is a key factor in creating an authentic buying experience and promoting consumer confidence. However, we also understand that for brands, it is critical to have control over review content, ensuring only fair and appropriate reviews are shown to consumers.

That’s why we are rolling out an update to our moderation practices early this year.

Yotpo is the first Reviews software provider to make sure that both needs can coincide. We’ve worked with the FTC to design a moderation process that is fair, yet maintains the brand’s control over the content as long as reviews are rejected over legitimate reasons and in a timely manner.

This provides brands with the extra confidence that they are applying moderation practices aligned with the guidelines of the FTC.

What the changes mean for brands

The moderation update only affects brands who use the Auto-Publishing Reviews feature. When auto-publish is enabled, reviews submitted by your customers are automatically published to the Reviews Widget on your site. You can choose to publish all reviews right away, or publish only reviews with a minimum star rating.

Now, brands who choose to raise the star rating filter above 1-star will need to take action on (either publish or reject) reviews that fall below the minimum rating. Action must be taken within a 14-day window, before these reviews are automatically published to their site. Our strong recommendation is that reviews are only rejected for an appropriate reason as outlined below.

This change means that all reviews, whether positive or negative, will be published in a timely manner — helping to promote fair and authentic review publishing practices, while continuing to give brands control of their content.

Here’s what the moderation flow looks like:

Why brands should publish all relevant reviews

Bad reviews aren’t necessarily bad for business. Consider the stats:

  • 53% of consumers specifically seek out bad reviews for one or more products they’re interested in.
  • Consumers trust reviews more when they see a mix of good and bad feedback. If the feedback is entirely positive, 95% believe the reviews are fake or screened by the company.
  • 68% of shoppers trust reviews more when they see both positive and negative content.

Publishing all of your reviews — including the negative ones — benefits both brands and consumers. For brands, it helps boost authenticity. For consumers, it means making better-informed purchases from a brand they trust.

When can brands reject a review?

There are a limited number of legitimate reasons where a brand can reject a review from appearing on their website. The FTC says that brands are within their rights to reject reviews that:

  • Contain unlawful, harassing, abusive, obscene, vulgar, or sexually explicit content
  • Are inappropriate with respect to race, gender, sexuality, or ethnicity
  • Are unrelated to products or services
  • Contain confidential or private information, are clearly false or misleading, or have been written by a competitor.

Yotpo creates the most trustworthy experiences for consumers and brands alike. Sharing both good and bad reviews on-site is a key factor in creating an authentic buying experience and promoting consumer confidence. In an environment where the FTC is placing increased scrutiny on review authenticity, Yotpo customers can rest assured that their review provider reflects the latest guidance from the FTC. These changes to Yotpo’s moderation process helps brands leverage the full power of customer reviews, while enhancing shoppers’ trust in brands.

To learn more about this update to our moderation practices, see our support article here

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