The company Recaba Inversiones Turísticas, owner of two restaurants in Valencia, has claimed more than 660,000 euros in concept of moral damages to the travel portal Tripadvisor to include their establishments without permission and allow "slanderous" opinions without control.
The lawsuit also argues that the platform has not deleted the profiles of the premises and has cited as evidence three opinions of users in which one of the restaurants of the company was accused of "swindling Social Security", being a local " without labor rights "and serving" toxic "food.
The case was taken this Thursday to trial in the commercial court number 7 of Barcelona, in a procedure urged by the company that owns the restaurants against Tripadvisor due to unfair competition and conduct "contrary to good faith".
During the interrogation, the vice president of Tripadvisor, Bradford Young, explained that both owners and other users can create business profiles, and in any case the platform reviews the request based on established guidelines.
Regarding the control of the opinions of travelers, Young has detailed that they have a system that guarantees "reliable" opinions, which combines an algorithm that captures hundreds of attributes and a human team to find opinions that do not conform to the guidelines, for example, those that are not first hand.
"Freedom of expression"
In addition to these previous controls, he added, the platform allows to report comments and delete them, besides giving the option to the owners to answer the opinions for free and without the right of reply by the original author: "The business always has the last word" .
When the prosecution asked him if among the parameters to approve opinions were "slander and accusations of crime", Young replied that it is also "important" that users know if the business may be committing infractions.
"There are hundreds of opinions related to crimes that the owners wish would not be there, but that is not the reason why they are deleted, but because it has not been a first-hand opinion," he remarked.
Finally, he has argued that Tripadvisor does not allow deleting business profiles because they defend the right of users to share their experiences and to be able to search for information about their destinations: "If we cancel them, we would be silencing the critics. expression".