Sam Woo’s Vietnamese Café in the Auckland suburb of Otahuhu has been the victim of a fake news campaign on Facebook, with users spreading the rumour that the restaurant currently holds an E grade health rating. Sam Woo’s was originally given an E grade in the inspections held from January to May, but was upgraded to an A upon reinspection – a common practice for restaurants given a fail grade for a significant but easily-fixable issue, and a second chance granted to almost a third of restaurants given a D or E rating.
However, Facebook user Alca Meno uploaded a video of the premises, giving a running commentary of ‘violations’ that he identified. Offences included food on the floor, which was swept up within seconds, and supposedly dirty tables, with the user also making racist comments about the Vietnamese staff.
Sam Woo’s has responded on Facebook, claiming to have got the police involved.
“We are taking this offence very seriously and have contacted the police as well as our attorney to take the necessary action to correct this. Auckland Council Health personnel has been notified by us about this fake news. This is a paparazzi publicly stunt by this individual to get followings and views on their Facebook page. Pictures they posted are fake and downloaded from the internet. Stories they posted are untrue and damaging to us.”
The post also included a photo of the venue’s A grade rating, issued in April 2018, as well as screenshots proving that images posted by Alca Meno of a ‘cockroach infestation’ at Sam Woo’s were taken from Google Images.
Sam Woo’s post has garnered 1,500 likes and almost as many comments.
‘Fake news’ attacks have become more prevalent on Facebook in recent months. Behemoth Brewing came under attack by Trump supporters for releasing a beer whose title made fun of the US President, while Trump supporters also attacked several restaurants with the name Red Hen, all of which were unaffiliated with the Red Hen in Lexington, VA, which asked Trump Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to leave.