Bribery happens when restaurants reach out to customers with a large following on Zomato, offering them freebies for positive reviews.
Customers who demand freebies in return for positive reviews - Gurgaon based restaurant search platform Zomato on Thursday launched a feature that will help food outlets curb the menace.
"Starting now, restaurateurs can directly flag any review that has been written with a malicious intent. When that happens, the review will not get immediately moderated, but we will use that data to identify bad users on Zomato over a long term and eventually freeze their profiles and delete their past reviews," CEO Deepinder Goyal said in a blog post.
The restaurant owners can use the 'Report Abuse' button on the Zomato for business app, to directly flag a review that was written with a malicious intent.
"There’s no guarantee that the review will be taken down – but this will help us make the system cleaner and get rid of bad actors over the long term. Our team will also review each reported case along with shared evidence – and if we believe in the evidence, we will moderate the review," he added.
According to Goyal, some customers have started abusing the reviews platform to their benefit which has led to an unhealthy cycle of blackmail and bribery.
Bribery happens when restaurant owners reach out to customers with large following on Zomato, offering them freebies or money in exchange of positive reviews.
The company is also planning to come up with measures to curb such instances by the year end.
"An important part of solving bribery is letting users report instances where restaurants (or the agencies they hire) have offered something for free to soliciting a positive review. In such cases, we will put up a “shame banner” on Zomato – which tells our entire user base that this restaurant is not an ethical business to deal with, and you should probably not be eating at this place," Goyal said.The development comes after Zomato waived off the ‘per cover fee’ or platform fee for its restaurant partners in a bid to further expand the offering, earlier this week.