A message about rejected reviews and moderation policies

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A message about rejected reviews and moderation policies

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Last Updated: June 2020

From Anatoli Olkhovets, Group Vice President, Gartner Peer Insights:

As I’ve talked with many of you over the past few weeks, I’ve been asked about our review moderation policies, why reviews may be rejected, and any steps you can take to ensure that reviews from your customers can be published.

On average, we do not approve approximately 35% of all reviews submitted to Gartner Peer Insights. While it may seem like a high number, it is necessary to ensure the highest possible review integrity. We want to ensure that prospective buyers coming to the platform and reading any review get the value, use the information to inform their purchasing decision, and keep coming back knowing this is the platform they can trust.

Below are answers to the most common questions about rejected reviews:

What is “SPAM”?

Like any ratings and review site, we are constantly on the lookout for bad actors/fraudulent contributors, and reviews from these contributors are what ends up in SPAM. While there are several reasons why a review may not be approved because it is SPAM, the most common are:

1. Fake Reviewer/Company/Profile – Imagine going through the steps to create a fake email, a fake LinkedIn profile, for a fake individual, who works at a fake company, for a $10 gift card? Yes, it happens more than you could imagine! When we identify attempted fraud, we reject the reviews, somewhat analogous to how email clients route emails to SPAM folder.

2. Multiple Accounts for one Reviewer – This is exactly what it sounds like. While we always welcome multiple valid reviews from a single individual, when someone creates multiple Gartner Peer Insight profiles and attempts to submit reviews across their various accounts, we cannot accept them.

3. Plagiarism – When a reviewer tries to submit a review that is word-for-word from a public domain like your website, blog, or product pages, or copies a review that is already published online, we will not accept the review as it is a clear violation of our policies.

What are Rejected reviews and what is the difference between that and SPAM?

While SPAM reviewers are the work of bad actors and are an unfortunate side effect of review platforms in general, sometimes your legitimate customers try to submit a review and have it not accepted. In these cases, rejections are generally due to insufficient content quality, inability to confirm reviewer credentials, or the reviewer’s eligibility to submit a review. Some examples include:

1. Content Quality – You would be shocked to see the amount of reviews that are submitted with “xxxxx” or gibberish for the free-form response fields, or simple “Company X is good” comment, which is not a product review and not helpful to the reader. When we reject a review for content quality, it may be because the reviewer was not reviewing the correct product, they left little-to-no feedback, the star ratings and free-form responses don’t align, or the reviewer talks generally about the vendor, but does not mention the solution they are reviewing. In these cases, the review is rejected back to the writer, and we will reach out to them with steps to update and resubmit their review.

2. Credentials – In some cases, we need more clarity on who the person is, or if their company exists. Sometimes, the company domain and email don’t match, or their LinkedIn shows them working at a different organization. In these cases, we will ask the reviewer to provide supporting documentation to confirm that they are who they say they are.

3. Conflict of Interest – At this time, we do not publish reviews from those employed by a company with an association with the vendor (employee, partner, competitor, etc.) or association with the product being reviewed (reseller, value-added reseller, system integrator, MSP, consultant, etc.). As part of the moderation process, if our team sees any red flags, we will not approve the review and will reach out to the customer directly for additional clarification. This is done to remove even perceived bias of the review

What can I do to ensure my customers submit reviews that are accepted and published?

Glad you asked! Here are some best practices you can adopt immediately to improve the quality of the reviews submitted:

#1 – Advise your customers that Gartner will ask them to confirm that they are who they say they are. We provide reviewers multiple ways to do this, e.g., through LinkedIn login, email click confirmation, so please highlight to them to expect that.

#2 – Advise your customers to leave specific, helpful responses. While it may take time, the more detail your customer provides, the more likely it is to be accepted. Our enterprise readers have told time and again they value depth in making better purchasing decisions, so publishing reviews with too little content would not serve their needs, and ultimately not be good for technology providers either

#3 – Set expectations appropriately when asking for reviews about the process and “best practice” reviews. For example, highlight the need to leave detailed and honest feedback, clarifying that partners cannot submit reviews, and even providing links to published reviews to help in framing the ask appropriately.

What’s Next?

On our end, we are working behind the scenes to improve the reporting you receive within your Technology Providers Tools Dashboard around rejected reviews. Our goal is to clearly convey why some reviews may not have been accepted so that you and your team are able to refine your messaging to your customers, and the methods in which you solicit reviews.

I welcome your feedback as we continue to innovate Gartner Peer Insights Platform and make it a valued program for you and destination for your clients and prospects! — Anatoli

If you need any assistance or want to share a feedback on the changes in the document, please reach out to your Program Manager directly. If you do not know who your aligned Program Manager is, please email PeerInsightsVendorSuccess@gartner.com.