On April 16, 2022, a Nigerian lady narrated on Twitter how her 23rd birthday ended up as her worst experience while in Warere beach Hotel in Zanzibar. According to Zainab Oladehinde, someone attempted to rape her in the reserved hotel room and made away with her $1,100.
Bulk negative reviews
The tweet drew a lot of attention and went viral globally a few hours later. Within 24 hours, the tweet had over 5,000 comments, 90K retweets, and 150K likes.
In the comment section, tweeps vowed to bring the hotel down through mass negative reviews on their profiles. Before the story went viral, Warere beach hotel had an average of 4.4 ratings from 400 users. Within ten hours, the reviews had surged to 12,000 reviews with an average rating of 1.1. The reviews went up to 13.6k within two days.
They also marked the place as permanently closed. Warere Beach Hotel claims that its official website was also hacked and brought down on the same day.
“Within 3 hours we received over 4,000 negative reviews on Google from people who had never stayed at our hotel”, said Warere beach in their response to the matter on Facebook.
Removal of bulk reviews
A day later, Google removed all 13,000 negative reviews which were posted in line with Zainab’s story from Warere Beach Google business profile. The reviews were trimmed to 214 reviews only with an average of the initial 4.4-star rating.
Google removes all reviews that contain obscene, profane or offensive language or gestures from business profiles. Their policies also ban mass or bulk reviews from being posted within a short period of time.