Internet reviews can be useful. It’s great that you can look up a restaurant and find out if it is any good, and even see the dishes they serve, before stepping in. Unfortunately, humanity is filled with jerks who try to ruin people just because they don’t share a worldview.
For example, take the good folks who run The Bridge Inn in Calver, a UK pub. They had just reopened the pub after refurbishing it, and included a staple dish with the new menu — foie gras.
You’d have thought they were serving kittens stuffed with koala meat based on how the animal rights activists reacted:
“They are just trying to bully us and our customers,” said Mrs McHattie, 35.
“I have had people post positive reviews who have then been abused directly to their personal profile. This has meant that the page has now gone viral and people from all over the world are now commenting from both sides. Activists have stolen photos of the children of those defending us and posted them on activists websites, as you can imagine this is a gross invasion of privacy and has lead to a lot of anger.
“One activist compared me to the terrorist involved in the recent London attack while one said any parent who feeds their child meat is as abusive as a parent who gives their child a cigarette. The majority of these activists are not even from the UK and never even been to the village, let alone the pub.
“I am all for democracy and campaigning for what you believe in but there is a certain way to go about it. All they are trying to do is blackmail us and expect us to roll over. We are doing nothing wrong. Foie gras is perfectly legal and we have plenty of customers who enjoy it. We source all our meat carefully and fervently believe practices on foie gras farms have improved greatly in recent years.”
This isn’t the first time the animal rights crowd has turned out to attack a place for serving the fattened duck liver dish. As in those cases, the McHatties were told that if the removed the dish then the critical reviews would simply disappear. Yet in the prior cases, the owners did just that, only to see none of the nasty reviews be removed at all.
The McHatties and others are the victims of an extortion attempt as activists try to force compliance through threats and intimidation. The fact that they’re not demanding money is irrelevant. They’re trying to destroy someone for a disagreement over what is appropriate to serve.