Online harassment of businesses needs to stop

From the real world to the virtual world, the tactics may have changed but anti-fracking activists are still harassing businesses


First, we saw them turn up outside people's business premises dressed in masks and hoodies in an attempt to intimidate companies out of the supply chain. But this put them at risk of arrest and undermined public support for their arguments. 

Now we now see anti-fracking activists turn to the internet, where they're using social networking sites to trash the reputations of legitimate businesses by leaving false reviews, undeserved 1-star ratings, and vile comments.  

Here's an example:


Potential customers of this business could very easily be deterred from purchasing. That's not on.

Although there are potential offences involved, the likelihood of getting caught and successfully prosecuted are much lower when targeting businesses in the virtual world. For a start, unless you're looking and paying attention, you won't necessarily even be aware it's happening.

It's not acceptable for politically motivated, ideologically driven activists to be able to damage the reputations of businesses this way and it needs to stop. It's important that the media and elected representatives get to learn about this and intervene.

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  • Peter Mckenna