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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General Questions

What is WikiReviews?

WikiReviews is an online, community-driven social review website that helps people find, write and read reviews of local and nationwide (USA & Canada) businesses, products services and films. WikiReviews is also a social site where users are encouraged to recommend things they like so that this can easily be shared with their friends and followers on the site. WikiReviews also allows the community to post their own personal projects that they want the community to review. WikiReviews goal is to be the largest online social site for reviews about just about anything and everything in the world. We can only accomplish this with the help of WikiCommunity volunteers all over the world.

What is a Wiki?

A Wiki is a website where users can add, modify or delete content via their web browser.


What can the community do to help?

First, we would love for you to contribute to the reviews of products, services, businesses and movies that we have on our site. If you don’t see a particular item on our site, please add it to our database so that others can add their reviews. More info is always better, so be sure to include everything you know, whether that’s a business address, phone number, movie title or product name. If you really enjoy helping, you can also add images and videos or rate other users’ reviews. This can all be done from the Participate Section at the bottom menu bar of our site.


Does it cost anything to use WikiReviews?

No! WikiReviews is completely free to use for all consumer users and business owners.


How does WikiReviews make money?

We make money through users clicking on the advertisements shown on the various pages of our site. Also, unlike other review sites, we do not solicit businesses listed on our site for advertising money nor can businesses pay us money to show up higher on our search results page. And most importantly, businesses cannot pay us to modify their star ratings. Star ratings are controlled by users and the community. This money will help us cover our web hosting costs as well as other administrative costs required to keep the site operating. The bulk of our workforce is made up of volunteers working hard to make our site the most comprehensive review site on the web.


Who uses WikiReviews?

You will see that we have a very diverse user base. You'll find a wide range of people on WikiReviews, including locals who are "in the know" about what's cool and happening in their city, visitors who want to get an insider's perspective, and anyone trying to find a great local business. In our Community Review Projects section, you will find all different types of users from business owners who want feedback on potential logos to musicians looking for feedback on their latest creation.


What kind of Reviews Are Posted on WikiReviews?

Studies show that people enjoy reviewing things they like and things they do not like. People like to give kudos to those things they really enjoyed and similarly, people like to caution others about their experiences. WikiReviews is not just a site full of complaints but rather a balanced site with reviews of all types.

User Reviews

What should I review on WikiReviews?

You can review any business, product, service or movie. Just think of something you really liked or didn’t like – something you feel strongly about. Those are the things you should review. You can also review service providers, such as your physician, lawyer, hair stylist, dog walker, pet groomer or drycleaner. You can even review how well your favorite actor performed in a movie. We would love to see reviews of the people you hire. Please be sure read our Content Guidelines before you begin writing reviews.


What if I had a bad experience? Can I say something negative?

Absolutely! The WikiReviews community wants to hear the good AND the bad about your experiences. Please be sure to include as much detail as possible so users can get the best picture of what happened. Try to be as unbiased as possible, and keep in mind there are legal consequences to posting false information.


Can I leave an anonymous review?

Yes, you can. We realize that there are times when you want to leave feedback, but feel like you can’t because you don’t wish to be recognized publicly. We allow one anonymous review for every five reviews a WikiReviewer creates. We do require all content creators to be logged onto the site so we know you are a real person. Once you’ve created an account, you can opt to make any given review anonymous as long as you have met the required number of reviews needed. Please note that after creating an anonymous review, it can no longer be changed or deleted and there will not be any tie to your personal account. As many anonymous reviews may be treated with skepticism, please provide as much detail as possible in your anonymous review.


What if I’m offered free things in exchange for my review?

We would like to offer unbiased reviews to all of our users. Being offered anything free in exchange for a review tends to make people feel obligated to do a positive review. Accordingly, we discourage businesses from offering compensation for reviews, and it is against our terms of service for users to accept compensation of any nature in exchange for reviews.


Can business owners publicly comment on my reviews?

Yes. Business owners can claim their businesses and they can respond publicly to their listing page reviews. You are also then free to communicate with them regarding their response. The community can even rate the business owner’s responses to any review. We hope this feedback will bring a positive change and encourage business owners to communicate positively with the community.


Do you want me to Rate Reviews?

Yes. We do need your help in rating the quality of reviews that our users provide. This will help us weed out poorly written reviews, while simultaneously identifying the best reviews for the community to engage with. We can also use this information to help identify those WikiReviewers who contribute content that are not as helpful to the community and assist them in improving their reviews to be more beneficial to the community.


How do I publish my reviews to Facebook or Twitter?

Easy! Just create a review as you normally would on our site, and just before publishing, be sure to click the Facebook and/or Twitter Icons and your review will post to WikiReviews and the sites you chose. If you have not already connected those accounts on WikiReviews, we will ask you to connect them the first time you use this feature. You can also connect your social media accounts directly on the main feed page. On the left hand column of the feed page, you will see a Connections section, which is where you can connect to your social networks.


How are reviews displayed on the page?

WikiReviews uses its own algorithms to try and show the most useful and beneficial reviews to our users based on community feedback. When you write a review, it will immediately show up on the site, but our algorithm will determine its position on the page, which may change over time due to how the community reacts to the review. Please note our algorithm does factor in listings with a small number of high star ratings versus listings with lower ratings but a large number..


What does it mean when a review is flagged?

When community members spot a review they feel is fraudulent or against our Content Guidelines, they can flag the review for an investigation. In these cases, based upon the flag reason, we will investigate the issue and resolve it or in the case of review flagged for being fake, we ask all parties involved in the review to provide their explanation as well as proof for their position regarding the review and what they think should happen, and then we will let the community see all the information submitted and vote on whether the review should be kept where it is, deleted or moved to the “Not Recommended” section.



Review Filter

What are not recommended reviews?

Not recommended reviews are reviews that the Wiki community has found to be suspicious in one way or another. The community suspects that those reviews may not be above-board, but there is not enough evidence to warrant deletion from the site. Not recommended reviews don't factor into a business's overall star rating, but users can still read them by choosing the Not Recommended option in the pulldown on the listing page.


Can not recommended reviews ever be put back onto the review page?

Yes! The community can view filtered review and flag them. They must provide proof as to why the review should not be in the filtered section, and then the community can vote on whether the review should be placed back into the unfiltered section or remain where it is.


Are not recommended reviews only positive reviews?

No. Any review, whether positive, negative, or indifferent, can be flagged and subsequently, be voted on, to be placed into the not recommended reviews section.


Why filter reviews?

We understand that some reviews are going to be very meaningful and helpful to our users while others may not be helpful at all. And let’s face it, there are just some unscrupulous people out there who want to either make their competition look bad or simply have a vendetta against a particular business. The reviews these individuals write are not beneficial to our users or the community. Similarly, there are many people who want to give their own products or businesses great reviews to increase sales. However, these reviews are sometimes difficult to distinguish against legitimate customer reviews. By having an independent group of community members from outside of the local area look at all the evidence and vote on what should happen to the review, we aim to remove false and less helpful reviews from the main listing page. Who better than the community to decide these very important issues!


Who can dispute and vote on reviews?

The community at large can dispute a review or a business owner who has claimed his/her business listing page can dispute a review. When disputing reviews, we want to hear all the reasons why the review was disputed and encourage those disputing to upload as much proof (photo or documents) to support their case. All parties involved in the dispute are given the opportunity to provide their side of the story and upload any evidence to support their case. Once this happens, a group of community members outside of the local jurisdiction is asked to participate in our jury system to look independently at all the facts of the case and vote on an outcome. Once this happens, the review is kept, deleted, or moved based upon community voting.



Business, Product & Movie Listing Information

How did my business and other information end up on WikiReviews?

We license information from third party data providers who gather this type of information from public records and other sources. We also get business information from other databases as well as our users, who regularly add new businesses, products and movies to our database each and every day. Moreover, everyday users can keep editing the information to ensure that our information remains accurate.


What is a Verified Business Listing?

When users add new business, product or movie listings to our site, we try to auto verify the listings. When that cannot happen, we turn to the WikiCommunity for help. We ask users to help us by letting us know if they have been to the business, seen the movie or used the product listed on our site. In addition, we ask users to upload third party proof that the movie, product or business exists with either a picture or a link. Once we get solid proof or enough participation from signed-in users, we will either Verify the Listing it will be Nominated for Deletion. This ensures that any computer-generated or falsely-provided data is not shown on the site for very long.


From where does WikiReviews acquire subjective business details?

Subjective attributes like expensiveness ratings or child friendliness are voted on by users who have reviewed the business. They can change over time as more people review the business and cast more votes. The more objective attributes that we show in the business listing (whether the business accepts credit cards or is wheelchair accessible) can be manually set by the business owner if he/she has signed up for a free WikiReviews Business Owner’s Account.



How are search results ranked?

WikiReviews’ search results are based on a mathematical formula that is designed to provide the best results based on a number of different factors, including review text, ratings, and number of reviews. We are constantly working on improving our search results so that we can deliver the most relevant local results to our users. WikiReviews does not allow any entity to pay to achieve higher search listings.



Profile

How do I verify my WikiReviews account?

Once you have completed the registration process, you will receive an email with a verification link. Please click on this link, or copy and paste it into your browser, to verify your email address and your account. If you do not receive a verification email or it does not work, please contact our Community Manager at cm@wikireviews.com.


How do I edit my profile and change my privacy and settings?

To edit your profile or to change your privacy preferences, log in and click your username that appears at the top of any page to be taken to your profile page. Once you get to your profile page, you can click on the information in the “My Info” box to edit. To modify your privacy settings, click on the round privacy gear icon on the top right of the cover photo (just next to the change image icon). One you click on that icon, you will see a popup where can change your privacy and other WikiReviews settings.


How do I change my email address?

Your email address and password are found under the My Info section of the user profile page. Just click on the email and you can instantly edit your email address.


Who can find me and my reviews on WikiReviews?

Everyone can read your reviews that you have not labeled as anonymous. They can also look at your account profile, photos, recommendations, and other content that you've contributed to the site. Your public profile will be tied to your first name and last name (e.g., "Sammy W."). Other than just stumbling upon you and your great reviews by browsing the site, other people can find you using the "Find Friends” search feature in the Connections section of the user profile page. However, these settings can be changed under the Settings section on WikiReviews.


How do I close my account on WikiReviews?

To close your user account, please email our Community Manager at cm@wikireviews.com com. If you don't mind telling us, we'd love to hear why you want to leave. Your feedback makes a big difference. If there's something you found unsatisfying about WikiReviews, tell us about it and we'll do our best to improve.



Fans, Friends, and Other Favorites

What's a “friend” on WikiReviews?

Well, a friend on WikiReviews is pretty much the same thing as a friend anywhere else. It's someone you enjoy interacting with on the site and want to hold on to in the world as your pal. Of course, you don't need to be friends with someone to send them messages or read their reviews, so keep in mind that just like life itself, the WikiReviews experience extends beyond your close-knit group of friends. We even allow you to automatically import and invite all of your friends and contacts from other social media sites and your email account.


How do I invite friends?

WikiReviews is so much better when you can hear from people you trust. Don’t hesitate to invite all your friends, family, and colleagues to join you on the site. Go to the user profile section, click on the "Connections" tab, and then click on “Find Friends.” From here you can invite your friends from your social media and email accounts. We have already created an invitation message for you that will get sent after you connect your accounts. If they accept your invitation and sign up they will automatically appear in your network.


How do I remove a friend?

On your User Profile page, click on the "Connections" tab and then click on “My Friends”. To unfriend a connection, just mouseover the user picture of the friend you want to remove and click on the unfriend button. You can also go the users main profile page and unfriend the user from that page as well.


What does it mean to “follow” another reviewer?

To follow a user, head to their profile page and click on “Follow Me”. By following other users, you'll be showing your appreciation for their reviews by becoming their follower. You will also see their reviews first in our default sort order whenever you browse a business they've reviewed. To unfollow a user, head to their profile page and click “Cancel Following”.


What is the Watchlist?

Similar to bookmarks in your web browser, your Watchlist is a way for you to mark a business, product, or movie that you are interested in. This will make it super simple for you to keep track of the activity on that listing by going straight to your Watchlist rather than having to search for the listing. From this section, you will get updates on new reviews, activity, and edits since you last visited the page. Watchlist buttons are conveniently located at the top of each listing page. Clicking “Add to Watchlist” adds that listing to your Watchlist. Your Watchlist is only available for you to see. Your friends are not able to see your Watchlist.



Privacy

What does WikiReviews do with my personal information?

We take privacy very seriously and hate spam even more than you do. Please take the time to review our privacy policy so you can see exactly what we do with your personal information. If you receive spammy messages from another WikiReviews member, or if you receive a message that is harassing, abusive, or contains a violation of our Terms of Service, please report to our Community Manager at cm@wikireviews.com.


Who can contact me on WikiReviews?

Other users can contact you on WikiReviews, including the businesses you review. If you'd prefer not to be contacted by business owners, you may change your settings here. You can also block future messages from specific users by selecting "Block User" under their account name when viewing a message from them.


Who can contact me on WikiReviews?

Other users can contact you on WikiReviews, including the businesses you review. If you'd prefer not to be contacted by business owners, you may change your settings on the privacy and setting page which you can find by clicking the gear icon on your user profile page. You can also block future messages from specific users by selecting "Block User" under their account name when viewing a message from them.



I'm not happy with what consumers are saying about me on WikiReviews - should I get my lawyer involved?

The first thing we encourage you to do is to reach out to the reviewer to explain your side of the story in a nice and cordial manner. Then, the reviewer has their own option to either delete the review or create a review update.
The business owner is also able to dispute the review and provide proof to support the reasoning. If these strategies do not work and you would like to hire a lawyer to contact us, we encourage you to please read Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_230_of_the_Communications_Decency_Act).


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