A group of France’s chefs, serious defenders of their sacred domain that they are, have now called for France’s Ministry of Commerce to silence critical TripAdvisor and Yelp reviewers. More than 1,700 industry types, including co-chair of the trade union Synhorcat and heavyweights like the Michelin twins Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, have signed a petition created by chef Pascal Favre d’Anne. It demands the end "of judging, of posting defamatory comments, and of subjective judgments of the people or staff members in our restaurants."
Too many reviewers are lying liars, the chefs and restaurateurs say, for any such social-network-based site to be worthwhile anymore. They contend that their livelihoods are being destroyed, and want sites "to moderate their users," possibly by requiring on-site check-ins to prove they actually visited the places they’re reviewing. Elsewhere, they call on the government to draw up "ethical standards," despairing all the while, no doubt, at the fact that nine in ten French people still base where they eat on online reviews. A French Directorate study conducted in 2012 indicated that "45 percent of online reviews were biased or simply untrue."