Mob mentality online is increasing. While some people are deemed “canceled” when they commit an atrocity, others are simply falling prey to attacks over their opinions or false accusations and are facing mobs and being ostracized for doing nothing wrong.
What we have now is a Black-owned business that has taken a huge hit due to false accusations that were posted on Facebook. Owned by TC Cuthbertson, The Falls Banquet is a banquet hall located near the Morrisville line in Pennsylvania and is a common destination for several events including weddings.
For a long time now, Cuthbertson, a father of two, has been a supporter of the police and has even showered praise on the local police department on social media in the past. “I’ve had nothing but a cordial relationship with the police, and they’ve been great to me,” says Cuthbertson.
He allows police offers on his property, where they hang out in their cruisers, eat lunch, and relax when possible. While it went on fine for quite some time, of late, some of his potential customers were feeling uneasy looking at so many police vehicles parked on the property. When many police cars all arrived at once, it made the venue look like it was there was a crime in progress and could be off-putting to couples coming to check out the venue.
“We determined that it was highly possible that some of them were intimidated with all the cop cars on the property,” Cuthbertson said to the local Bucks Country Courier Times.
Cuthbertson, in an effort to save his business from losing customers, requested the police give him a head’s up before they come so he could arrange his schedule for meeting potential customers accordingly.
Neither the policemen nor Cuthbertson had an issue with the arrangement.
But then, soon after, George Floyd’s death made national headlines and the issues of race and police brutality were forced into every part of society from news to entertainment.
A comment on a local Facebook page ended up twisting the facts and portrayed Cuthbertson as anti-cop, suggesting that he wouldn’t let cops on the property.
“This place refused to allow the Falls Township Police to sit at his outdoor picnic tables and eat their lunch. If you’re looking for a catering venue, don’t choose this one,” read the comment on a local Facebook page.
No sooner was the comment posted than he started receiving threats on phone calls with people hurling profanities at him. By the time Cuthbertson even tried to do damage control, the post was shared over a hundred times and several negative comments about his business came flooding in.
He even tried approaching Google, stating that the negative reviews on his Google business page were a result of a lie and Google eventually removed the reviews.
But Cuthbertson was receiving threats. “We got terroristic threats,” he said. In June, one man posted “Let’s go burn it down. Cops won’t show.”
The situation progressed to the point where police had to make a statement so that people realized that they were on good terms with the business.
The Falls Township Police Department wrote on Facebook:
“Our department has received an overwhelming show of support from the residents and businesses in our jurisdiction. None of the businesses in our township have refused service at any time to any of our officers.
Any negative reviews to any businesses, including The Fall’s Banquet by EventRoostr, involving the treatment of our officers was not authorized by our department and is false.
We continue to actively patrol the businesses in our township and will remain diligent in serving and protecting our community and the citizens we serve.
Any threats to any business in Falls Township will be fully investigated.”
These days, as tensions are heightened one false accusation can send a Twitter or Facebook mob in seconds, and while it often doesn’t translate into real-world harm, there are incidences where serious accusations get made, as people increasingly want to play judge, jury and executioner online.