Is it Possible to Appeal False and/or Negative Reviews?

Businesses occasionally receive false or spam reviews from time to time on third-party platforms such as Google or Facebook. When this happens, they often come to us and ask whether they can delete these false and/or negative reviews. The short answer is yes, within certain parameters.

For example, here are a few of the common types of reviews that you can dispute:

  • Spam and fake content – review content must be genuine, or it can be removed by the original platform
  • Off-topic – review content must reflect an individual’s experience from the business (irrelevant social, personal or political commentary is often able to be removed)
  • Prohibited content – most review platforms will delete illegal, locally restricted, sexually explicit, offensive, dangerous or derogatory content hate speech
  • Conflict of interest – Google, for instance, will not allow you to review your own business, a current or former employer or a competitor’s business

Whilst we can’t just delete the false or negative reviews left on Google or Facebook, even if they’re proven to be from bots or other users who aren’t customers of the business involved, there are steps that can be taken to appeal these types of reviews from the original platform.

How can you Appeal Google Reviews?

Here’s a useful link to request the removal of a review left on Google.

To flag a review in your account:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google My Business app
  2. Tap Customers Reviews
  3. Tap the review you’d like to flag, then tap More Flag review

To flag a review or user in Google Maps:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app
  2. To open your Business Profile, in the top right, tap Account Circle then Your Business Profile
  3. Tap Reviews
  4. Find the review you’d like to flag
    • To flag a review: Tap More, then Report review
    • To flag a user: Tap the name of the user, then tap More and Report profile

Flag a review in Google Search:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, go to Google
  2. Find your Business Profile
  3. Tap Reviews
  4. Find the review you’d like to flag
  5. Tap More and then Report review

Tip: Users and businesses can report abusive users from the Google Maps app. After the user’s activity and contributions like reviews, photos or edits are flagged they’ll be reviewed.

It’s important to note that Google uses automated spam detection measures to remove reviews that are probably spam. These measures help improve people’s experiences on Google and ensure the reviews they see are authentic, relevant and useful. However, some legitimate reviews may be inadvertently removed.


How can you Appeal Facebook Reviews/Recommendations?


Here’s another useful link you can use to report a recommendation about a business page on Facebook. In short, you:

  • Go to Reviews and click the three dots in the top right corner of the post you want to report
  • Select ‘Find support or report recommendation’
  • Follow the on-screen instructions

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