Though comments are anonymous to people using the site, reviewers are not anonymous to the site's operators. The fact that users must sign in through their Facebook accounts gives them an identity across the site, which enables Honestly.com to monitor any unusual or unfair behavior.
He said the site's algorithms can also see if a reviewer and the person being reviewed share any contacts. If they share none, he said, that could be a red flag that the reviewer might not have any legitimate reason to leave the review, which could affect the review's placement.
Kazanjy said his site can tell if users only leave negative reviews or review those they have never worked with. He said the site can also tell if people sign in with fake Facebook accounts.
"We have no problem banning someone if they don't behave in a professional fashion on the site," he said.
Similar to Yelp and other sites, Kazanjy also said that users can rate the reviews. If users think a given comment is overly critical or abusive, they can report it, which could result in a comment being removed or a user being labeled "not trusted." Over time, their reviews could fall in ranking or be entirely invisible across the site, he said.
Kazanjy said the previous model, in which users invited others to review them, may have contributed to a more positive tone on the site. But he said he doesn't expect that to change as the site opens up.
"At the end of the day, we think that people are good," he said. "We have seen [that] if you give them a platform where they can share their professional opinion, but they know there are incentives for good behavior and disincentives for bad behavior, then they don't engage in bad behavior and they engage in good behavior. And I think we anticipate seeing that pattern continue."