Masterchef judge Nick Munier has expressed support for hoteliers who want Tourism Ireland to stop linking to anonymous review site Tripadviser. Speaking on Today FM, Munier said that it was unfair that people could conceal their online identity and post malicious and fabricated reviews online.
Munier revealed that he is seeking to pursue legal action against one anonymous reviewer, and said it was unacceptable that the site in question took 10 days to reveal the identity of the user. The review could only be taken down, he said, after substantial damage had been done to the business.
Munier’s comments were supported by Padraic Hanley of Dublin restaurant Ouzos on his blog. “The fact that someone can hide behind a user name and say whatever they like via such websites is reckless and open to all sorts of abuse. Nobody should be subjected to this type of anonymous abuse and anyone who facilitates such abusive behaviour via their website should be held responsible,” he wrote. “If everybody was honest review websites as they are would be fantastic and would do the public and the restaurant business a great service. But alas, we’re not as honest as we should be and a lot of what is said about restaurants on these sites could be true, could be lies, could be exaggerated, could be made up by a disgruntled ex-employee having the final say, could be a competitor trying to make you look bad or could even be the restaurant themselves. Who knows?”