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For which reasons can businesses flag service reviews?

For which reasons can businesses flag service reviews?

Got a review that goes against the rules? You can flag it from your Complete-Reviews Business account, and our Content Integrity Team will assess whether the review violates our guidelines for the specified reason.

This article walks you through the different reasons for flagging a service review.

Reasons for flagging a review:

1. It's harmful or illegal

If you choose this reason, you'll be asked to choose a sub-reason:

  • Hate speech or discrimination. We can remove content that attacks or uses derogatory or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are, e.g., based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, color, descent, gender, or other identity factor.
  • Terrorism. We can remove content that intends to radicalize people, spreads harmful propaganda, mobilizes support for terrorist activities, or relates to violent extremism.
  • Threats or violence. We can remove content that contains serious threats or threats of violence. For example, calls to target people or businesses with abuse or harassment online, and behavior that urges offline action such as physical harassment or destruction to property.
  • Obscenity. We can remove content that contains graphic depictions of acts that are violent, sexual, or gory.
  • Defamation. We can remove content that is likely to cause serious harm to someone’s reputation or serious financial loss to a business.

We don't remove content just because you dislike or disagree with it, it criticizes your business, or includes swear words.

2. It contains personal information

We can remove things like names, phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.

However, we don’t remove information that’s already in the public domain, or the reviewer’s own personal information.

3. It's advertising or promotional

We can remove content that includes a promotional code, a call to action, or advertises another business or an unrelated product — for example, spam reviews.

We don’t remove content just because it mentions another business or you disagree with it.

4. It's not based on a genuine experience

We can remove a review if the reviewer wasn’t eligible to write a review about your business. For example, if the reviewer is a current employee, a competitor, was paid to write a fake review, or wrote the review more than 12 months after their experience. Read more about who can write a review and when.

We don’t remove a review just because the reviewer didn’t buy something from your business, or you disagree with their version of events.

Note: In general, if you flag a review that was posted more than a year ago, we won't investigate whether it's based on a genuine experience. We don't expect reviewers to hold onto their documentation forever.

5. It's about a different business

If you choose this reason, you'll be asked to choose a sub-reason:

  • It's about one of my other domains. We can move a review that's meant for one of your other domains, for example, if it was left on your profile page but it should be on your profile page.
  • It's about another business entirely. We can remove a review if it clearly indicates it’s for another business, like if it describes buying a handbag and your business sells insurance.
  • I don't recognize the reviewer. You'll be directed to our Find Reviewer tool so you can request specific information about the reviewer and their experience.

We don’t remove a review just because it's generic and doesn’t mention your business’s name.

Handy hints

  • Each review can only be flagged for one reason at a time. We assess the content you highlighted for the reason you chose.
  • Some options aren’t available in specific circumstances. For example, if you invited a customer to review your business, you can’t flag their review for not being based on a genuine experience. Makes sense, right?
  • You need to use the Find Reviewer tool before you can flag reviews for not being based on a genuine experience.
  • Similarly, you'll need to ask the reviewer to update their review before you can flag it for containing personal information or being about a different business.
  • Flag reviews consistently and fairly. If you flag negative reviews for containing personal information, you should also flag positive reviews for containing personal information. Our Transparent Flagging feature gives people an overview of all your flagging activities, including the star ratings of reviews you’ve flagged.

Misuse of the flagging function

The flagging function is an important feature in our review community. If you misuse it, we can take action such as limiting or blocking access to your business account, placing a prominent Consumer Warning on your profile page to inform consumers, and stopping your Complete-Reviews stars from appearing in search engine results. 

Want to know more?

Get in touch to find out more about what we do to build trust and promote transparency in online reviews.