Wikivoyage talk:Avoid negative reviews

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This place sucks[edit]

Moved from travellers' pub by (WT-en) Evan

So, I'm thinking about anti-recommendations for restaurants, bars, hotels, attractions, etc. My general feeling is that it's probably not worthwhile to list places that just suck, unless they're so prominent/well-known/whatever that unwitting travelers may be sucked in. For example, the hotel right across from the train station, the roadside attraction with billboards for miles in every direction, the bar listed in another guide.

I'm wondering where and how to express this idea, though. Any opinions or ideas? --(WT-en) Evan 10:37, 8 Dec 2003 (PST)

Just put it into the appropriate section under a sub-header "What to avoid". Seems like the most straight forward answer to me. (WT-en) Nils Jan 8th 2004
Yeah, but why should we have a whole section on what to avoid? Unless there's a really good chance that people are going to go somewhere, and we need to warn them away, I don't see a good reason to take up valuable space in a destination guide with information about a place not worth going. I think we should just list ones that we need to have negative stuff about with other attractions/restaurants/bars/hotels/etc. Just have a negative description. --(WT-en) Evan 00:34, 20 Jan 2004 (EST)
Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and start writing a few negative reviews (like the RP). I figure travellers deserve to know about a place that is cheap (for london) and does have a fantastic location. They just also deserve to know that the in-hall showers don't work so well. -- (WT-en) Mark 01:25, 20 Jan 2004 (EST)
We should not review mediocre stuff ("this place was not the best") or places with small problems ("I waited 5 minutes for the receptionist"). But if a place is really, really horrible ("our room was covered in cockroaches and there was a dead guy in the shower!"), we owe it to our readers to warn them. Of course, there should be a definite reason (not just "it sucked!"), and if others disagree, they will probably edit until an "objective view" emerges. -- (WT-en) Nils 09:16, 7 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Warning about tourist traps is definitely what I would expect of a decent travel guide. I would be happy not to repeat the mistakes others made. In fact I'd consider this piece of information one of the most valuable and certainly not a waste of space. Of course they have to keep the NPOV as anything else here. (WT-en) Wojsyl 14:29, 1 Jan 2005 (EST)

There are some things about this place that suck[edit]

Wow. I have no idea where to put the info, but man do I want to. I just stayed at the Regent's Palace in London, and was pretty unhappy with it. I had booked a room with a hall shower having experienced hall showers in Paris and several locations in Switzerland, where they were perfectly acceptable, but at the Regent's Palace they were mostly broken, and in some cases dirty, and locked most of the time, so one had to ring up the cleaning staff to get into the shower! -- (WT-en) Mark 10:44, 8 Dec 2003 (PST)

Is there more to the this discussion?[edit]

"If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all" is a nice policy but I mean almost all guidebooks, save the pure propaganda, are unafraid to take a well deserved dig now and then. Should we take any omitted page to indicate a negative review (and we're holding our tongues)? Or just empty pages? Who is the target audience? For example, I travel a lot, and often times find myself in new cities looking for something to do or where to go next and I'd really appreciate hearing negative reviews. (WT-en) Emery 22:11, 8 Apr 2005

It's not about being goody-two-shoeses -- it's about not wasting a lot of time, space, and energy saying "don't go here". Like, finding out the address, phone number, opening hours, average prices, and URL of a restaurant just to say, "...and it's not worth the effort of going." If that's the case, I think it's a good indication that it's not worth our effort to make a listing for a place.
More than half of this page describes when to make exceptions for that: do you need to see more? Keeping attraction, restaurant, hotel and bar listings up-to-date is a lot of work, and it doesn't seem like a good use of volunteer time just so one person can practice clever ways of saying "tastes bad". --(WT-en) Evan 08:01, 8 Apr 2005 (EDT)
I see both sides of this view. In my opinion Wikivoyage's too new to start editing it: I'm thinking we're at the stage where the book's being written. We will eventuallly need to start removing crap pubs from the articles: For example, Norwich has over 300 pubs, listing all of them would be insane). But all these removals should be noted in the Talk pages, so people who think they should go back (eg the pub's become fantastic) don't need to re-research the contact details etc. (WT-en) Lionfish 08:55, 8 Apr 2005 (EDT) (2pm GMT really)
I think if you feel like going to the trouble of getting a pub's details and entering them, then listing it must be worthwhile. I imagine that the converse is also true.
Meanwhile, did you know that you can set your timezone offset to 0 in the preferences? That will cause Mediawiki to print your signature with GMT. -- (WT-en) Mark 09:13, 8 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Sorry, I meant 'BST' :P. I've had the correct time set in my preferences for a while now "Server time is now: 14:12 Local time display: 15:12". But when I use the ~~~~ thing it seems to get it wrong (sorry for being Off topic). (WT-en) Lionfish 10:14, 8 Apr 2005 (EDT)
oh duh... I've just realized that it does that to me too. I'm actually in CEDT. -- (WT-en) Mark 10:19, 8 Apr 2005 (EDT)
One thing I've been doing recently is adding pubs etc I've not been to for the more rural parts of the cotswolds. I've added an 'unreviewed' note to them though. I know this is kinda bad, as this is suposed to be all 1st hand information but there's method in my madness: There are quite a few places in Morocco and Eastern Europe I'd like to comment about but I can't remember what they were called. If someone else had put the pub or hotel/hostel on the article already, even if they hadn't been, I'd have recognised it and been able to fill in the blanks. I'm hoping that putting in the well known pubs in the area (even the ones I've not been to or can't remember clearly) will help others add stuff later.(WT-en) Lionfish 12:32, 8 Apr 2005 (EDT) (5:34 BST)
Where does it say that this is supposed to be first hand information? I add stuff that I don't know first hand all the time. I just leave the review part blank. We've talked about it before and nobody's ever suggested that they thought it was a bad idea. -- (WT-en) Mark 14:30, 8 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Oh phew! I'm sure I saw that mentioned somewhere once. Lol, nm then :) (WT-en) Lionfish 15:01, 8 Apr 2005 (EDT) (8pm BST)

Removing negative reviews[edit]

So there have been some cases (eg. Ko Lanta) where places are removed because of a rather strict interpretation of this policy. In my opinion, some information ("this place is bad/overpriced") is better than no information (a deleted entry), and culling should only start to take place when we start nudging up and over the suggested maximum (5-10) of places per category. (WT-en) Jpatokal 01:07, 5 Oct 2005 (EDT)

I totally agree. What I like to do is to re-write totally negative reviews to point out that while there are some serious problems reported "at least it's a place to stay" or something like that. -- (WT-en) Mark 01:16, 5 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I think it'd be fair to say that if a listing is one of the only 5-10 places listed for a destination, then maybe it meets the "prominence" requirement. --(WT-en) Evan 02:13, 5 Oct 2005 (EDT)
Consensus! I've gone ahead and attempted to update the policy accordingly. (WT-en) Jpatokal 06:49, 5 Oct 2005 (EDT)

single negative report should remove a place?[edit]

I have an interesting case to consider: Cerveceria Catalana:

  • was originally reported as recommended
  • then there was clearly a single negative report: [1]
  • and then it was removed from the listings as a negative review [2]

My considerations:

  • clearly the negative report was a single event, not a shared opinion of several wikivoyageers or based on several visits
  • it also looks a valid way to remove info on competitor: just edit review for it into negative, and someone else will do the dirty job for you, removing it at all, sooner or later

I propose a policy for anyone having a negative experience to discuss it first in article's talk page--and provide details of individual single event a person has in hand in most cases. And only basing on discussion, either remove the listing or agree on how to edit it.

Opinions? -(WT-en) DenisYurkin 10:22, 22 March 2008 (EDT)

I think we can use common sense with this. Obviously some clear reason for removing a place should be given, but a longtime user nuking a restaurant with an edit summary of "they cloned my credit card and gave me food poisoning" is OK in my book, but obviously an anon nuking all restaurants except one is not. (WT-en) Jpatokal 10:57, 22 March 2008 (EDT)
How these can be applied to the specific case I refer to above? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 11:06, 22 March 2008 (EDT)

dealing with negative feedback in a prose[edit]

How should we deal with edits like this? [3] --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:22, 19 December 2009 (EST)


What is the best way to handle the current situation with Marineland Niagara? They're mentioned prominently in multiple articles Niagara Falls (Ontario), Buffalo, Niagara Peninsula but have been the subject of repeated, damning publicity after the Toronto Star, one of three huge daily papers in the provincial capital, broke news of animals seriously ill or injured due to conditions at the park The story broke five months ago, but more bad news is continuing to find its way into the broadsheets even while the park is closed for the winter.
There have been ongoing protests at the site, which are mentioned briefly in the individual local listing here but are not identified in either the region article or Buffalo's article. The Ontario SPCA is now involved, as are provincial environmental authorities. This place has been operating since 1961 and is rather famous (so removing all mention under "avoid negative reviews" might not be feasible) but would it be reasonable to remove them from all but the local article and link to the newspaper reports in the one local listing? This does affect travellers as they will encounter angry mobs protesting the situation if they attempt to visit the site, but certainly the situation could change at any time were the park cleaned up or shut down. K7L (talk) 18:05, 21 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hotel tries to charge a guest £100 for posting a bad review[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I thought that some might be interested in today's newspaper article about a hotel which charged a guest £100 after they posting a poor review online, quoting the small print of their terms. The hotel changed their mind after trading standards investigated. Another newspaper sent its travel editor to the hotel, who though it not bad for the price. AlasdairW (talk) 23:22, 19 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@AlasdairW: Outrageous lawsuits like this are always a little bit comical and a lot of bit infuriating. The good news is that we're unlikely to be the target of these bullying tactics since we have a policy of not discussing bad and mediocre places (outside of the dangerous). —Justin (koavf)TCM 23:25, 19 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This was not a lawsuit - the hotel simply charged the card used to book the room. Their terms said "For every bad review left on any website, the group organiser will be charged a maximum £100 per review." I doubt that it would be a problem here because it would usually be difficult to link our description of a place to a specific guest staying there. The point to take away is to read the terms when booking, but mainly this has just been a topic of discussion and amusement here. AlasdairW (talk) 00:33, 20 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@AlasdairW: Pardon me. Yes, this is good advice. Also, we should boycott companies which are unethical like this. —Justin (koavf)TCM 00:42, 20 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Union Street Guest House in Hudson (New York) tried the same moronic stunt back in August (but for U$500); it backfired just as badly. We don't have listings for either of these places, but I think we'd just pull the WV listing and link to the incident in an edit summary or talk page if an establishment listed in one of our guides tried something this unethical. K7L (talk) 04:32, 20 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Don't visit" list...[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Do we have a summarised one , based on Warning boxes?ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:19, 2 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I wouldn't support such a list. As a travel guide, we among other things present safety information - and then leave it to our readers to choose whether to go to Country or Region X,Y or Z or not. To put it another way, this is a travel guide, not a "don't travel" guide. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:09, 2 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with Ikan's concerns, but for maintenance purposes see: Category:Has_warning_box and Category:Has warning box with out of date warning. A warning box may only be on an article for a few days to warn of an industrial dispute, or for several years as a result of war, and I don't see any value for the reader in a manual list. AlasdairW (talk) 21:15, 2 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Warningboxes are good, but they do not mean that a tourist must not visit a place. We don't want to get too negative about warnings. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:35, 2 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hear, hear. I sometimes wonder whether we go too far with some warnings. We should not forget that, while most editors here are Westerners, we are writing for a global audience of people who can read English. For example, few Westerners (but not none) might be planning trips to Iraq at present, but for people from culturally similar neighbouring countries, visits to parts of Iraq are likely much less daunting, and it is not our place to discourage them from going. Nurg (talk) 09:35, 3 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, though it's better to be on the careful side than not. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 10:38, 3 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think Wikivoyage should ever be warning people not to visit a place, but we should absolutely let readers know if a major government advises against visiting a place. If the UK Foreign Office says "don't go there", that is important information for readers to consider making their own decisions. But we don't need a separate list. Warning boxes are sufficient. Ground Zero (talk) 12:07, 3 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree completely, and you said it better than I did. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:33, 3 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────To reference the previous discussion about the USA article, I would say that government warnings not to go to a place in and of themselves are not grounds for us to put up warning boxes. Whether you like it or not, even Western governments sometimes issue such warnings for political reasons, so the determining factor should be what the situation on the ground actually is. If it is a war zone, we should have a warning box saying that it's a war zone. If gay people are likely to be lynched by the locals, we likewise should have a warning box saying that. But the mere fact that the British government issued a warning not to go there is not sufficient grounds for a warning box. And so, to the point of this thread, no, there should not be a "Don't visit" list. Warning boxes in the destination articles are sufficient. For instance, I put a warning box in the Uganda article stating that extreme homophobia is rampant, but if a gay person wants to visit Uganda despite that, it is not up to us to stop him from visiting; he still has every right to make that decision for himself. The dog2 (talk) 22:05, 3 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It seems a consensus has been reached. Thanks.ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 07:11, 4 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not recommended places[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I was wondering if it is appropriate to also add the places that are not recommended, to ensure that tourists are not scammed or run into unpleasant situations. Any opinions on this? — 17:48, 9 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikivoyage:Avoid negative reviews has some guidance. —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:29, 9 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]