I’ve used Guru.com to source freelancers previously, and have found it a useful service.

However recently Guru.com have announced they are updating their feedback policy:

Feedback reviews are now more reliable.
Feedback is a valuable tool to help you find the pro you need. However, on rare occasions it can be skewed due to personal bias or even abused when used as retaliation or as a threat. To ensure that feedback retains its integrity and value, both Employers and Freelancers may now choose to remove a limited number of feedback records from their profiles.

(my emphasis)

So you can remove feedback you don’t like. And the bigger users of Guru.com can block more negative feedback than smaller users.

Now it seems to me that people will just use this to block negative feedback whenever they can, not just on ‘rare occasions’.

Feedback systems on the web are much harder to manage because there is often a global marketplace involved. If a business fakes negative feedback about a competitor in a local newspaper, there is a good chance they can be tracked down and sued. Online there may be no practical legal redress.

So will this change make feedback on Guru.com more reliable?

I don’t think so. It gives me a reason not to trust the feedback that I see there.

So how could Guru.com make their feedback system more trustworthy? I don’t know about you, but an unblemished record doesn’t always look trustworthy. You have to ask yourself ‘Is it real?’ I want to see the footprints of a real business, and a real business doesn’t get everything right.

A more trustworthy feedback system might allow a way for employers and service providers to make an effort to fix things if they get them wrong. This happens in business all the time, if a customer is unhappy a business will often go out of their way to see if they can change that around.

Taking the real story out of the web isn’t the way to earn more trust.