After Winnipeg's Marion Hotel turned away members of the Manitoba Nomads — a branch of the Hells Angels, classed as a criminal organisation under Manitoba law — the gang's president called on Hells Angels affiliate around the world to leave one-star ratings for the business on Facebook, driving both the hotel and its restaurant off of Facebook, seemingly permanently.
Then the bikers targeted the Marion Hotel on Tripadvisor, which eventually deleted their one-star reviews.
The Marion Hotel isn't the only Manitoba business that the Hells Angels have targeted with online downranking campaigns: the Headingley Sport Shop Ltd was brigaded because the store had agreed to serve as the starting line for a charity motorcycle ride that had banned riders in gang colors.
An Ontario police officer who works for an outlaw motorcycle gang unit said that the activities might constitute criminal harassment, and suggested that the targeted businesses could seek civil remedies from the Hells Angels.
Schneider had never heard of the Hells Angels banding together to attack businesses with bad reviews, but he wasn't entirely surprised that Kelland was able to mobilize support so quickly.
"They're a group that has connections worldwide," he said.
Neither the Marion Street Eatery nor the Marion Hotel would comment, but this is what they posted on their Facebook page before taking it down: "Due to an unsubstantiated negative attack in the last 24 hours, we will be taking down our Facebook page today for the unforeseeable future. Thank you to all our amazing customers for your likes, reviews and support. Positivity has run our business and will continue to do so. #positivityrules"
More than a week later, calls for a boycott of the restaurant were renewed, but this time on TripAdvisor. The travel site told CBC News on Monday that they removed the reviews in question from the Marion Street Eatery's listing.
Manitoba Hells Angels target businesses by posting 1-star reviews [Caroline Barghout/CBC]
(via Naked Capitalism)