Content Integrity

Our Approach to Content Integrity

At UniAdvisor, we've created a community where members can compare universities based on international student experience and employment data and reviews. Once in a while, someone will try to game our system by attempting to post a fake review, so we thought it would be helpful to share our approach, our policies, and the actions we take to identify, block, and remove fraudulent reviews. Here's what we believe.

We believe the best international education advice comes from other international students and alumni.

At UniAdvisor, our members can submit reviews and data of their experience as international students and of living and studying abroad.

We believe in "the right to write."

The UniAdvisor community has a wealth of valuable experience, and every one of our monthly users should feel confident sharing their opinions. When you invest in an international education you have a fundamental right to talk about that experience with others. We are immensely proud of the community we’ve built which helps international students do just that.

We believe every international student experience counts That's what UniAdvisor stands for.

Because we believe in promoting personal experiences, we do not take lightly the decision to remove a review from our site. It might be easier to give in to censorship and remove reviews that a university disagrees with. But it goes against what we stand for, which is the right for genuine international students and alumni to share their experiences.

In keeping with this philosophy, while we do require reviewers to certify that they are reviewing their own experiences before they can submit their review to UniAdvisor, we don’t seek third-party verification.

We believe that everyone should play by the same rules. Universities are not able to influence UniAdvisor to improve their reviews, ratings or Student Ranking.

We have unique processes for moderating the content submitted to UniAdvisor, as well as proprietary algorithms that calculate a universities Student Ranking. Those processes and algorithms are applied in the same way to all content, complaints and education institutions. We never have and never will give our advertisers or anyone else preferential treatment.

We believe that universities who don't play by the rules should be penalized.

Universities know that international students rely heavily on reviews when making international education decisions. Unfortunately, we have seen that some unscrupulous universities will try to cheat in order to attract more international students. We define “cheating” as positively reviewing their own university (or finding others to do so on their behalf) or negatively reviewing their competitors.

These activities constitute fraud. Posting fake reviews violates the UniAdvisor Terms of Use, as well as unfair competition and/or consumer protection laws in many countries. We invest massive amounts of time, effort and money into identifying and blocking fraudulent activity on our site.

How UniAdvisor identifies and blocks fraud

  • We have several years of experience learning what normal reviews and reviewing behavior tend to look like on our platform. We're experts at spotting patterns of fraudulent activity.
  • We capture and record thousands of data points per week and insert them into our proprietary fraud detection processes.
  • We run reviews through automatic filters to identify moderation or integrity issues prior to publication. This process allows UniAdvisor to analyze and categorize massive amounts of data quickly and thoroughly.
  • Once reviews are published, we allow business owners and community members to flag content for our review if they believe it is fraudulent. All reports from our community and owners are reviewed and analyzed by our team of content specialists.

How UniAdvisor penalizes universities found to engage in fraudulent activity

  • We block or remove the fake reviews.
  • Each fraudulent submission we identify has a negative impact on a business’s rank in our Student Ranking.
  • We aggressively pursue companies that offer to boost a business' reputation by writing fake reviews on its behalf. When we catch them, we remove all of the fake reviews they've posted, and we penalize their clients.

You may be surprised that UniAdvisor doesn’t simply remove the listing on our site for a business caught engaging in review fraud. In fact, that's exactly what some of these businesses want us to do, so they can prevent consumers from researching and commenting on them. But we believe consumers have the right to know what other UniAdvisor users are saying.

Finally, we believe it's important for our community to be informed.

With tens of thousands of reviews and opinions on UniAdvisor, and over one million future students using our site each month, we're confident that we're taking the right steps to keep our content fresh and useful.

For more information…

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