Breaking News: Eye Doctor Charged with Assault of Patient After Bad Review on Yelp

First in a series of  Fictional Social Media Cautionary Tales (#CT) by Dr. Alan Glazier (@EyeInfo)

(Chicago, Ill.) A Naperville, Ill.  eye doctor was charged with assault after macing a  patient on Thursday.  According to reports the patient, who’s name is being withheld, had visited the suspects practice 2 days prior for an eye exam,  subsequently posting a one-star review on the popular service-review site Yelp.  Apparently after learning about the review,  the doctor became enraged, drove to the victims house and waited for him to get home.  The victim, temporarily blinded in the attack said the eye doctor  jumped out from behind a bush in front of the victims home, tackling him and spraying him with mace in the face while yelling, “I had a perfect Yelp Score and you ruined it for me!”

This isn’t the first incident of social media review site violence.  In Los Angeles in May, a veterinarian held a patient’s cat hostage in a tense 4 hour standoff, enraged after the cats owner posted a mediocre review on Yahoo Local.  In June, according to FourSquare, a system bug accidentally named two “mayors” simultaneously of a New Jersey White Castle, a popular hamburger fast food restaurant, sparking an argument in which the two “mayors” pelted each other with cheeseburgers until the police were able to break up the fight.

“This sudden increase in review-site related violence is to be expected,” claims Social Media Psychologist Dr. Ona Bandwagon warned. “People can say anything they want about any business, and can use this tool to further their own agenda, whether it is intended to be accurate and helpful or malicious without regard for consequences to the business.  One small customer service error resulting in the posting of a malicious review can erase the reputation built it took years for an owner to build with sweat equity. The problem lies in the fact that in some cases, the reviewer actually might have received excellent service, but had an agenda to harm the business owner, or a grudge against a particular staff member.   As far as I’m concerned it was only a matter of time before these internet “review” sites lead to acts of revenge such as violence or food fights.  It might be a wise move to require a third party to confirm a poor review before allowing it to be posted, or create a platform where a poor review isn’t posted until there is at least one other poor review posted as well. This would increase the likelihood that the poor review is an agenda-free opinion.  It would be a good idea to put something like this in place before somebody decides to give a postal worker a bad review after their bushes get trampled one day.”

Editors Note: The editors are unaware of any official state licensing program or board certification for a professional to obtain the title “social media psychologist”.  There is likely to be a slew of people labeling themselves “social media psychologists”  and “SEP’s” (Search Engine Psychologists), so try not to end up on their couch, but if you do, be sure to have your PDA with you.

For more Social Media Cautionary Tales “like” us below and connect with us by free email or RSS subscription and on twitter @EyeInfo

Authored by Dr. Alan Glazier of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care; Award winning Optometrists, Ophthalmologists and Opticians serving the Rockville, Potomac and Gaithersburg Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC for over 40 years.  Visit our practice website or call (301) 670-1212.


5 Responses

  1. Hello, Dr. Glazier…I am curious to hear more about the Naperville eye doctor story…where did you hear about it as I cannot find any information about it (and I live in the area). Thanks!

    • Hi Karen, this is a fictional cautionary tale that I wrote to emphasize specific problems with product and service review sites like yelp. Sorry if you thought it was true, I created the hash #cautionarytale thinking people would understand it was just a “tale”, thus fiction! Cheers!

  2. […] These were respected citizens implementing these actions – because of bad social media reviews. […]

  3. Sadly, this sort of thing has actually happened out here in San Francisco:

    Doctors have managed to avoided the fisticuffs so far; but, they’ve made nearly as bad a decision by attempting to sue their patients:

    After helping doctors with this exact thing for years now, we can say that the best defense against a negative review is more positive reviews!

  4. […] a blog post about a Yelp comment gone wrong circulated through the office. Despite being fictitious, this […]

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