BS ISO 20488:2018 Online consumer reviews – Principles and requirements for their collection, moderation and publication

BS ISO 20488:2018

Online consumer reviews. Principles and requirements for their collection, moderation and publication

Status : Current   Published : June 2018



What is this standard about?

 Online reviews have a growing influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions, making it vital that sites build confidence in the quality, integrity, accuracy and transparency of reviews. 

This standard sets out requirements for review administrators to apply to the way they collect, moderate and publish online consumer reviews. The goal is to help organizations demonstrate that they value their customers and are committed to providing reviews that consumers can trust.

Who is this standard for?

Any organization that publishes consumer reviews online, including:

  • Suppliers of goods and services that collect reviews from their own customers
  • Third parties contracted by the supplier
  • Independent third parties 

The different processes related to the collection, moderation and publication can at various times be performed by different organizations. This document applies to reviews published online, collected by any methodology.

Why should you use this standard?

 Both consumers and suppliers have reported some problems with online reviews which might be intentional or unintentional, but can degrade trust in the online review process. Problems include:

  • False positive reviews written by the supplier itself intending to mislead consumers
  • False negative reviews written by a supplier’s competitors intending to ward off consumers from the organization
  • The activity of businesses specialized in “online reputation management” who offer e-commerce companies services to improve their online reviews
  • Consumers using their newfound position of public critic and in effect obtaining better circumstances or other benefits from a supplier that they review
  • A lack of trust concerning the veracity of consumers’ reviews, and whether organizations select the better reviews, and remove the negative ones
  • Suppliers that use consumers to write positive reviews or penalize them for writing negative reviews, in some cases contracting consumers out of the right to write a negative review

These issues form the basis for the principles that are designed to resolve them in the standard.

The standard gives requirements for managing consumer review sites, detailing good practice throughout the process, from collection to moderation and publication. 

It gives recommendations in order to increase consumer trust in online consumer reviews, increase the protection of suppliers from exploitation and mischief, and improve the purchase decisions of consumers and the quality of products and services provided by organizations.

Organizations that choose to follow this document can be considered to be demonstrating that they value their customers and are committed to providing reviews that consumers can trust.


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Standard NumberBS ISO 20488:2018
TitleOnline consumer reviews. Principles and requirements for their collection, moderation and publication
Publication Date11 June 2018
Normative References(Required to achieve compliance to this standard)No other standards are normatively referenced
Informative References(Provided for Information)ISO/IEC 27001
International RelationshipsISO 20488:2018
Draft Superseded By18/30344914 DC
DescriptorsOrganizations, Products, Administration, Consumers, Internet
Title in FrenchAvis en ligne de consommateurs. Principes et exigences portant sur les processus de collecte, modération et publication des avis
ISBN978 0 580 94919 7
File Size1.279 MB

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