Members of the public will be able to rate care homes for the elderly on a new website under plans being developed by the Government.
All care providers would be rated in a searchable online database, set to work in a similar way to hotel reviews site TripAdvisor.
Records of mistreatment or abuse by staff will be included, along with the latest information from inspections as well as feedback from residents and their relatives.
The system is intended to expose failures to treat people with dignity and respect, such as abuse and theft.
Full details will be set out in a White Paper on social care, due to be published in the spring.
Under the proposals, relatives of care users will also be encouraged to join scrutiny teams, who will visit residents to speak about their experience of care.
Care services minister Paul Burstow has asked officials to work out how to implement the plans, which emerged following a consultation with the public and charities.
Mr Burstow said: "The reason I'm so excited by these new ideas is they came from care users themselves. Measures like publishing social care comparison sites and opening care services up to greater scrutiny will revolutionise the way people and their loved-ones choose their social care.
"It can't be right that you can find out exactly what a hotel or restaurant is like, in just a short time searching the web, but people have so much trouble working out the standards of different care homes and home care providers - when that choice is so much more important.
"I hope providers of good quality care will welcome that we're looking for new ways to highlight the good work they do to care for people. And for those areas where standards aren't so good, I want people to get the message loud and clear that we're intent on doing absolutely all we can to shine a light on bad treatment and raise quality for everyone."