Food-delivery and restaurant-lookup app Zomato recently announced a project named Clampdown to keep eateries from unethically boosting their ratings.
The move, according to a blog post by Zomato boss Deepinder Goyal, will focus on “restaurant owners who also play an active role in promoting solicitation.”
He added in the post: “Starting March, we will be aggressively warning users of suspicious reviews and ratings for such restaurants on the Zomato platform.”
It may be noted that Zomato in September last year delisted hundreds of eateries from the platform because they failed to live up to its hygiene standards.
What prompted Zomato Project Clampdown?
Goyal went into some detail in his blog post to explain what set off the Zomato Project Clampdown.
He said: “As a core Zomato value, we have worked relentlessly to identify both restaurants and users who engage in unethical means to influence restaurant ratings and reviews. While we have identified more than a few ‘bad actors’ on the platform, the fight is far from over!”
He went on to add that Zomato had over the past two months removed “300+ high-activity users” from the platform. Their infarction was “solicitation.”
This, he explained, is “where influential foodies are incentivised or offer to join hands — in some cases for monetary gains — to write about restaurants.”
How does this affect bloggers?
Zomato has already cracked down on a section of bloggers. However, it is now looking to recruit some other bloggers in its effort to clamp down on erring restaurants.
Zomato is expected to first send a warning to erring restaurants if it spots suspicious activity. If such activity continues, Zomato will remove the eatery from the app.
And it is looking for the help of bloggers in this endeavour. It is expecting bloggers to report such suspicious activities.
Goyal said in his blog post: “I’d strongly urge you to join us in our ongoing fight against paid reviews and help us maintain the neutrality of our platform towards both – our users as well as our restaurant partners.” Stay tuned for further details of what Zomato plans for its users and bloggers.