Great chefs against critical mass
This is part of an article published in the cultural supplement of the newspaper El Pais this weekend:
“Amerigo Capria, cook of 33 years with a proven reputation in Florence, recently took an unexpected surprise. “As a good customer of a winery that I am”, he said this weekend in front of the kitchen of his restaurant, Bacca rossa, “usually give me a box of wine for every 10 I buy. The last time, things changed: ‘As a gift this time we will give you five good reviews on TripAdvisor”. After all, a favorable review in most important tourism website of the world, the most important social network of dining and hotel recommendations, can be the best of gifts for Capria’s business: the kind that makes the difference between attract new customers, who come to the Web for advice seemingly selfless users like themselves, or lose them forever.
The surprised chef rejected this. But he denounced the practice in his restaurant association and discovered he was not the only victim of a “organized and continuing racketeering”. “The comments on these webs have become a currency of exchange, can sink you if are false and malicious. The comments will be good if you grant some favors”, Aldo Cursano says, vice president of the federation of Capria. Cursano decided fight back with a campaign to collect testimonials on Facebook. A crusade that has caught like wildfire in France and Germany and aims to bring a collective suit against TripAdvisor at the motherhouse of the United States. “There are agencies that offer you packages of two thousand €uros to invade the Net with praise for your activity”, Capria says (…)”