SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — Acts of so-called ‘ratings terrorism’ are hurting small eateries as food delivery orders continue to rise following the coronavirus outbreak.
Ever since food delivery has become an important factor in surviving the COVID-19 era, reviews and ratings have also become powerful tools that can sway consumer choice.
While some false reviews and ratings are being met with proper punishment and compensation, many small businesses are reluctant to respond to such acts.
“If bad reviews turn out to be false, it is seen as an act of defamation, as well as business obstruction, since the false review was posted on a public platform,” said lawyer Choi Cho-rong.
Baedal Minjok, South Korea’s biggest delivery app, allows business owners to hide certain reviews for 30 days. If the customer does not agree to delete the review, however, the post will reappear on the review section after 30 days.
Experts argue that a new method should be put in place to prevent malicious comments and posts, and subdivide the app’s review policy and system.
“There are consumers who post malicious comments regularly,” said Lee Eun-hee, a consumer studies professor of Inha University.
“A mechanism should be placed to filter those who post malicious comments more than a certain number of times, and inform consumers that malicious comments can result in criminal charges of defamation in order to protect businesses.”
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)