I think it is beyond time for someone to come up with a way that businesses can fight back and even recoup financial damages (and they would be huge when you consider the multiplier effect) caused by those who post idiotic and false statements on social media whether it be #trip #advisor, #yelp, #twitter or #facebook. Here is why: Close friends and owners of a small hotel and restaurant in Germany that we have used since 1998 with zero problems or complaints from our clients expressed their dismay and concern to me yesterday resulting from a post from an American guest who accused them on Trip Advisor of stealing her credit card information and running a charge (in Ireland no less) for more than $3500 on the same day that she checked out of their hotel. This baseless accusation is now ‘out there’ forever, and the owners can do absolutely nothing. Trip Advisor will not help. (How do you actually reach a real person at these sites anyway?) How frustrating for this family who work 14 hour days to please their guests! This insanity has to stop. Social Media has unfortunately become the new Witch Trials of the 21st century. You didn’t have to be an actual witch to be burned at the stake or driven out of your town three and four hundred years ago. All that was needed was someone to accuse you. That was your death sentence.
UPDATE on this story: After several weeks, several e-mails and at least two telephone calls to corporate offices in New York the offensive post which caused all of this stress and heartache for this honest family was finally removed.