Food Bloggers can now be sued for bad reviews

If you have spent considerable time on social media, you’d have come across ‘social media influencers’.

#INDIA: The ‘influenza’ bug has bit people across platforms and there are ‘political influencers’, ‘make-up influencers’ better known as #MUA’s, ‘food bloggers’ and people selling just about anything they could, most of the times, for money.

According to the Indian Hospitality Association, bloggers that are not recognized by the National Hospitality Body will have a case of defamation filed against them should they attempt to review food establishments.

“Influencers” like to feel important by calling themselves one, the way ‘intellectuals’ refer to themselves as one. They introduce themselves as one because otherwise no one would know who they are.

The Hospitality Industry of India has started scanning the food-blogging community to weed out non-genuine reviewers, bloggers and influencers who mislead the public by giving opinions about restaurants.

As reported by Mumbai Mirror, the hospitality industry is keeping a close watch over the blogger community to take legal action against those who defame the restaurants.

Shambhu Sharan, the executive chef, Emcure group said that most people writing food reviews have skills to click attractive pictures and creatively write about the food, but lack knowledge on the chemistry behind each dish and the gastronomical process.

He said, “One cannot judge the food based on the presentation and looks. Chefs and experts invest years in learning about food and its facts. But the bloggers writing with little knowledge often mislead people,”

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Sharan also talked about how factors like paid reviews or other perks can influence the way a blogger portrays their like or dislike of the food. “In other cases too, if the restaurant is not up to the rating, the customers initially visit but once they realise the reviews were overrated, the restaurant starts suffering and over the course of time often shuts down.”, said Sharan.

“These fake bloggers don’t know any insights about the food. Sometimes it takes three-four hours to make one dish,” said Sanjay S, an industry veteran of 30 years.

Kalyan Karmakar, a food writer, said, “The main issue is that writing a food review is a learning process. A beginner and an experienced person have to go through the process very often as so much are to explore.”

Rushina Ghildiyal, a food blogger and consultant, said, “Bloggers are good influencers but it is a process to evolve. The new generation of bloggers are no experts and would require time to gain it.”

What are your thoughts on this clampdown? Does this not go against freedom of speech? Tell us below

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