The review platform formed in 2000 by Faisal Farooqui who famously filed an petition against the IT rules in the Supreme Court of India pointed out that it took their team 6 months to complete the task and considering they get thousands of reviews per day, it was difficult to weed out such anomalies.”Few brands tend to stage themselves as consumers, or hire an agency to help them achieve positive mentions online. Some even attempt to AstroTurf such reviews.Earlier in 2012, we had deleted around 4100 fake user accounts,” says Farooqui.
Farooqui set up a special internal team to monitor suspicious activities of such users by using advanced screening technology and automated algorithms.”I wouldn’t want Mouthshut to be portrayed as a platform that will tolerate non-genuine reviews or allow brands to manipulate ratings on our platform. There are a vast set of algorithms to pin point the flagged content.” It is a highly confidential set which is not disclosed to anyone under any circumstances, not to their clients or employees.
He says that users should feel free to convey their experiences and brands should get a chance to improve customer engagement, as well as strive to improve the quality of their products/services based on these experiences.
But making the brand experience different and opaque has always been a tough fight for Farooqui and his team.Over the years, they have collected more than 800 legal notices and complaints. “When we got our first legal notice, I was very scared. It was from the then-renowned tuition classes giant Chate Classes. A lot of parents took to Mouthshut.com to write negative reviews about them, and it aggravated to an extent that they stopped sending their children there (despite paying a long-term fees in advance).”
Another such legal notice was a Rs. 2000 crore damage claim by a renowned builder and property developer from Pune wherein the company claimed that it resulted in a huge loss for them. “Our goal is to enable consumers make judicious choice based on fellow consumers experiences. Our goal has never been to cause a loss to any business or brand. We work in a capitalist society where, we believe, the most caring brand will always win the trust of consumers.”