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Google Places is your de facto social media -- is it fair game?

Have you been following the story online this past weekend about the generous tip left by Peyton Manning at the Raleigh, NC, restaurant Angus Barn the previous weekend, and the server who posted the receipt online?

Here's a recap:

And, as you can imagine, reaction to the story is being played out on the restaurant's Google Places page, where an unblurred copy of the now-famous receipt was posted among the Places Page photos.  28 reviews were also posted at the time of this screen shot, below, all but four in reaction to the incident.

Sure, some of the reviews are from individuals with an axe to grind: perhaps the fired employee and his friends, possibly the business management and loyal employees who feel the restaurant's policies and reputations are worthy to defend, but most of the reviews are from people with another dog in the fight.  They don't live in Raleigh and have never been to the restaurant.  They are "reviewing" what they know about the news story.

The four reviews prior to this incident going viral are a mixed bag.  This Places Pages is not yet claimed by the owner, but it is fleshed out with links from the restaurant website and other city and dining guides.  The Yelp! page has 130+ reviews, and a healthy portion of those are post-Peyton, but most are lengthy, detailed reviews from the past three years of actual paying customers. The restaurant does not appear to have a Facebook page.

In general, what you do online, or what you do in response to what someone else does to you online, in this day and age, gives everyone else the opportunity to take sides and post their opinions of what's right or wrong with the business in question and its practices.

I'm thinking the restaurant was in its right to maintain a privacy policy for itself and its patrons.  I don't think it helps to air your dirty laundry online.  I do understand the lack of impulse control that sent the receipt online in the first place.  Both sides of the argument are ably represented on both Yelp! and the Places Page. 

But is it fair game?  And if you were the restaurant, it's Monday morning.  What do you do now?

Views: 109

Tags: Google, Management, Places, Policies, Reputation, Reviews


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