Criminal biker gang Nomads attacking businesses with 1-star reviews


djbaxter

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Manitoba Hells Angels target businesses by posting 1-star reviews
CBC News
April 10, 2018

When the president of the Manitoba Nomads, a chapter of the outlaw motorcycle gang the Hells Angels, heard his members had been turned away from a hotel for wearing their trademark logos, he called on them to boycott the business.

They obeyed Dale Kelland in droves.

On March 27, supporters took to social media to express their displeasure with the Marion Hotel. When the small Winnipeg business removed its Facebook page, the bikers and their friends turned their attention to the Marion Street Eatery, the restaurant in the hotel.

Within 24 hours hundreds of people, most of them from outside Canada, posted one-star reviews on the restaurant's Facebook page, reducing its 4.5-star reputation to three stars overnight. ....

More than a week later, calls for a boycott of the restaurant were renewed, but this time on TripAdvisor. The travel site told CBC News on Monday that they removed the reviews in question from the Marion Street Eatery's listing.

"We refer to this type of fraud as vandalism, which we define as attempts to post fake, negative reviews," Tara Lieberman, a spokesperson for TripAdvisor, wrote in an email. "We fight fraud aggressively and have sophisticated systems and teams in place to detect fraudsters, as well as strong penalties in place to deter them." ....

Before attacking the hotel and eatery, Kelland and his supporters targeted the Headingley Sport Shop Ltd./ Indian Motorcycle Winnipeg.

The shop was supposed to be the starting point for the Sadie Grimm motorcycle ride in June. The event is organized by the Manitoba Women's Motorcycle Council to raise money to buy a statue of Grimm, an early 20th century motorcycle rider. In a social media post about the event, organizers said gang colours were not welcome, and that set Kelland off.
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Linda Buquet

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Re: Crminal biker gang Nomads attacking businesses with 1-star reviews

Whoa what a gripping title. Had to click to see what this was about.

Good catch David! Thanks for sharing!

I like the way TripAdvisor says: "We refer to this type of fraud as vandalism" because it really is another form of it.

When you compound cause-based reviews (i.e. they won't let us wear colors) by a large group of people with the same values, then the mob mentality kicks in. Almost like sharks smelling blood.

The biggest fairly recent cause-based review situation that comes to mind is the Dentist that shot the Lion.

Hey guys, aren't you glad neither of these businesses is YOUR client!?
 

djbaxter

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Re: Crminal biker gang Nomads attacking businesses with 1-star reviews

The question is how will Google handle this? I’m sure this is not the first or the last time.

There was a case in British Columbia where a wedding photographer lost her business because of a focused campaign by one disgruntled client. She eventually won in civil litigation but her business was long gone by then.
 

Linda Buquet

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Re: Crminal biker gang Nomads attacking businesses with 1-star reviews

I've seen instances of Google watching cases like this and trying to keep taking down the reviews that were not legit - ie the person had never personally interacted with the business. But most that I'm aware of were big cases where TCs got involved and kept bringing it to Google's attention.
 

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