Delete or not to delete?

delete-button-gif.gifHere’s an open question to readers of Hoboken411.

Back when this site was being developed, it was my intention to have every Hoboken business listed and able to be commented on by the readers. To express their opinions, both good and bad. A central repository of historic public feedback.

In the past 10 months, I’ve only received a few complaints from business owners. Whether it had been something I wrote in a review, or more recently what the readers have written about their particular business.

Some shop owners have thicker skin than others. They actually appreciate seeing what the public is saying about them. Call it a free suggestion box. They may not be particularly thrilled with reading a negative comment, but they still strive to improve to keep their clients happy in this competitive environment.

And there are some folks that have asked to have their businesses removed entirely due to some not-so-good comments. I’ve responded to them saying that I would be doing the readers a disservice if I removed a business and all the comments. People have a right to know what others are saying, but in the long-run they typically will use their own judgment. I usually suggest they read the other listings where the owners came on and responded to the customers they serve. That shows that they’re approachable, open-minded and respect others.

So what should I do? Remove the businesses? Or keep them?

If I do remove, should I keep their listings anyway, delete and turn off the comments, and note: “Removed at the request of the owner due to the many negative comments”?

I don’t want to remove anything. I just don’t feel it’s right.

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I’ve done my share of serving the public and have my share of horror stories, so I do see your point. But you have the ability to refuse to deal with someone and throw them out of your establishment if they become too difficult. Some types of businesses do have black lists of customers they won’t deal with, and there is no reason you can’t have one too.

That’s a little different from censoring reviews and opinions. And look at it this way–some business owners submit fake reviews to sites like this one, so things balance out.


As a small business owner, I appreciate the value of word of mouth advertising. However, no service oriented company can make every customer happy 100% of the time. It is also true that unhappy customers tend to be more vocal than satisfied ones. I’ve learned to treat silence as a rave review. That having been said, I’ve always wondered why there wasn’t a service for small businesses to protect us from unhappy, predatory people who seem to make a hobby out of making the small business owners and their staffs miserable. A reverse “Better Business Bureau” if you will. Perhaps that is the counter to not having reviews at all – allowing small businesses to “black-list” people who should be avoided.


hey 411, don’t lose your backbone! you can’t start picking and choosing who to post about and who to take down, or you will open up yourself to all the other criticism people have of the REPORTER or the JOURNAL and all those other publications that have lost objectivity. Besides, any disgruntled business owner can come on here and refute or respond as do so many already.


i don’t have time to read the first 83 comments on this, but my opinion is that you should definitely leave the businesses on here and leave the comments, especially the ones actually relating to the business, positive or negative. it doesn’t solve anything or help anyone to remove businesses or negative comments that they may have received.

removing the completely unrelated comments on the other hand might be a good idea so people can find actual opinions and what they’re looking for sooner, but that’s a separate question and issue.


you should absolutely keep the comments up for every business… absolutely x 100. That is a major service that this website provides, and a service that is lacking elsewhere…

I’ll even take it one step further — any business that is using its energy asking for its comments to be removed, rather than actually improving itself, will not be patronized by me. Why would i trust a business that has something to hide?

So let us know who the crybabies are. ill call them myself and tell them because of their attempts to censor, i wont be going there.