After a woman complained last month about the pizza at a Broadway restaurant, posting a review on a long-dormant Facebook page run by previous owners, someone using the name of the business kept responding, calling the woman “ugly,” hurling expletives at her, and making jibes about her sex life.
The Facebook account for Brother’s Pizza & Pasta, between 30th and 31st Street on Broadway, responded to her negative review with expletives, misogynistic, and threatening language. However, the account hadn’t been used since 2012 and doesn’t belong to the eatery’s current owners.
The manager at Brother’s Pizza & Pasta said he doesn’t manage the page; nothing had been posted by its administrators since 2012. And ownership has changed in the past few years.
The person posting the responses admitted in another post on that page that he was doing so to troll the current management.
Jimmy, who now owns the pizzeria, said last week by phone, “We try our best to respond to our customers in the store.” He said his uncle purchased the store in 2016. “We don’t use social media.”
The original review, which has since been removed from the page, started with a female customer venting about her experience being denied a refund for a mistaken order.
“F*** you,” was the first response to the disgruntled customer, which was followed by a series of threatening messages, such as “[Catch] me outside how about [that],” and images and memes depicting antagonistic laughter. “You ain’t gon do sh**,” read another response, while another called the user “ugly.”
“We try our best to respond to customers in the store.” – Brothers Pizza & Pasta current management
The user who posted the negative review responded with disdain. She threatened to report the business to City Hall, the health department, and the Better Business Bureau.
The person writing the taunting responses later posted, “This page has no association with the current owners. This page … will be deleted upon request. There [are] three separate admins to this page. [I] apologize for any inconvenience.”
Other Facebook users took umbrage at the series of indecent comments. One user described the administrator as an “internet gangster,” while another said the kind of language was “uncalled for.”
However, other recent reviews on the page praised the establishment’s food. One said the barbecue pizza is “fantastic.”
Unfortunately, in the internet age, it’s easy for someone to assume another identity or post false facts and ruin a reputation or business. So the matter is a lesson for people to check out posts, memes, and claims on nebulous pages before believing them, and for businesses to be vigilant about their social media.
The false page was not taken down as of Thursday morning, and could be found at https://www.facebook.com/BrothersPizzaPasta/.
Rory Pasquariello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.