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Online abuse targeted in ‘Say Don’t Slay May’ campaign

Queensland restaurant and café owners have started an anti-abuse campaign after receiving numerous vindictive reviews and online insults.

Insults including “The lady owner is a rude cow”, “We shoulda gone to Maccas” and “Pizza tasted like diarrhoea”, has sparked the introduction of this new campaign to try to stamp out unwarranted abuse.

The ‘Say Don’t Slay May’ initiative will run throughout May and is requesting that diners take into consideration the enormous impact nasty reviews can have on the mental health of the business owner.

Behind the campaign is Naomi ‘Nims’ Zavackas, Brisbane hospitality veteran and founder of Mise En Place Bonne Femme.

Mrs Zavackas revealed that many of the online attacks had nothing to do with the food, and were of a more personal nature commenting on the appearance and age of the owner and workers instead.

“The intensely negative reviews that cut venue owners and their teams to the core are vengeful,” she said.

“Slaying is an opportunity to vent and forget, with no real understanding of the inherent repercussions personally and professionally to every small business owner.”

#NoComment day will take place on 15 May, when hospitality businesses across Australia will restrict public comments on their social media accounts. The aim is to encourage customers to approach the venue directly with their complaint rather than vent on social media.

There’s also hopes that the  campaign would help initiate legislative change around online bullying and trolling.

“Clearer definitions around the law surrounding ‘reviews’ actually being defined as trolling are needed without relying on expensive civil defamation suits to bring justice for the victims,” said Mrs Zavackas.



Irit Jackson - 10th May 2021