Yelp will begin flagging businesses with “racist behavior”

“Communities have always turned to Yelp in reaction to current events at the local level. As the nation reckons with issues of systemic racism, we’ve seen in the last few months that there is a clear need to warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious, racially-charged actions to help people make more informed spending decisions,” Malik wrote.

But some people are concerned that the Yelp label could be misused and incorrectly ostracize businesses who may not deserve it.

“The problem with this is that people may use it to cancel businesses unjustifiably,” one Twitter user wrote in response to the news Friday.

Yelp said it has a system in place to try to prevent that from happening. The company’s user operations team already investigates and disables reviews or puts alerts on business pages if it finds that the business is seeing a huge uptick in reviews in response to news reports, rather than from people who have actually visited. Those are in place to let people know that the business is getting a lot of public attention, and recent reviews might not be from firsthand experience.

The new “Business Accused of Racist Behavior” alert takes that one step further by putting the warning on business pages “when there’s resounding evidence of egregious, racist actions from a business owner or employee,” Malik said in a statement. In that case, Yelp will link to a news article from a “credible media outlet” that explains the issue.

Yelp has faced allegations in the past that it favors positive reviews for advertisers, which it has denied. In addition, some restaurant owners have already long harbored animosity toward Yelp, where they say a few bad reviews can affect their bottom lines. A 2011 Harvard Business School study found that the difference between a 3-star rating

Yelp Will Add Racist Behavior Tags to Business Pages

Illustration for article titled Yelp Will Now Advise Customers When a Business Is Racist Enough to Land in the News

Screenshot: Yelp

Yelp will now warn customers that they’re looking at a “business accused of racist behavior”—just so long as it’s been racist enough to warrant a mention in the news.

The review platform announced in a blog post Thursday that it will place an alert on a business page when a business “gains public attention” such as a news article documenting “egregious, racist actions from a business owner or employee, such as using overtly racist language or symbols.” Previously, Yelp implemented a “Public Attention Alert” feature that informed visitors that a business may be at the center of a controversy involving racism, but that alert didn’t specify whether the business was the source of the bigoted behavior or the target.

“As the nation reckons with issues of systemic racism, we’ve seen in the last few months that there is a clear need to warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious, racially-charged actions to help people make more informed spending decisions,” VP of user operations Noorie Malik wrote in the post. “Now, when a business gains public attention for reports of racist conduct, such as using racist language or symbols, Yelp will place a new Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert on their Yelp page to inform users, along with a link to a news article where they can learn more about the incident.”

That’s a pretty high bar for restricting the page—reporters aren’t out there running down every business flying a Confederate flag. Yelp also said it was hoping to rein in review-bombing, in which large numbers of users who may have no personal experience with a business leave negative reviews in response to a well-publicized incident. The new version of the popup tells users that while Yelp believes racism is “reprehensible

Yelp rolls out new tactic to warn consumers about businesses accused of ‘overtly racist actions’

Yelp has a zero tolerance policy for racism.

The company, which publishes and aggregates crowd-sourced business reviews, announced Thursday it will be placing a new “Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert” on Yelp pages to warn users about businesses that have been said to display “overtly racist actions.” They will also include a direct link to a news article for consumers to learn more about the reported incident.

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“We know these values are important to our users and now more than ever, consumers are increasingly conscious of the types of businesses they patronize and support,” Noorie Malik, vice president of user operations, wrote in a blog post. “In fact, we’ve seen that reviews mentioning Black-owned businesses were up more than 617% this summer compared to last summer. Support for women-owned businesses has also increased, with review mentions up 114% for the same time period.”

Malik said that as the nation continues to be affected by systemic racism, Yelp feels an obligation to help consumers make better decisions before spending their hard-earned dollars with businesses associated with egregious, racially-charged actions.

“So far in 2020, we’ve seen a 133% increase in the number of media-fueled incidences on Yelp compared to the same time last year,” said Malik.


Malik wrote that between May 26, a day after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, and September 30, a week after the Breonna Taylor verdict was announced, Yelp has placed more than 450 alerts on business pages that were either accused of or the target of racist behavior related to the Black Lives Matter movement.

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New Yelp Policy Will Flag Businesses Accused of Racism

Yelp  (YELP) – Get Report rolled out a new feature Friday that will alert users when an establishment has been associated with what the review site called “egregious, racially charged actions.” 

The San Francisco company’s site enables users to rank and comment about businesses.

“As the nation reckons with issues of systemic racism, we’ve seen in the last few months that there is a clear need to warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious, racially charged actions to help people make more informed spending decisions,” the company said in a statement. 

A banner with a red exclamation point and a tile of “Business Accused of Racist Behavior” will appear under a business where “someone associated with this business was accused of racist behavior.”

The banner also will say whether the racist behavior resulted in an influx of people posting their views to a business’s Yelp page. Those negative reviews must reflect actual first-hand customer experiences, the company said. 

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To protect against what it calls “media-fueled reviews,” it will require that user experiences be first-hand accounts of racist behavior. 

Yelp reported seeing more than a doubling of of media-fueled “incidences” on the site so far in 2020. 

From May 26 through Sept. 30 the company placed more than 450 alerts on business pages that were either accused of, or the target of, “racist behavior related to the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Once Yelp notices an unusual spike in activity on a business’s Yelp page, the company’s moderators investigate and temporarily disable content, as they place an alert warning users that some reviews may not be based on first-hand experiences. 

When allegations of racism are present, the company will default to a general public attention alert and will escalate that banner

Yelp Is Going To Start Flagging Restaurants That Have Been Accused Of Racist Behavior On Its App

Photo credit: Yelp
Photo credit: Yelp

From Delish

Yelp announced in a blog post yesterday that it would begin flagging businesses that have been accused of racially charged behavior on the app. Consumer alerts are already placed on businesses that see an influx of reviews based on news coverage or social media rather than first hand experience, and the new alert will specify when the allegations are related to racist behavior.

“At Yelp, we value diversity, inclusion and belonging, both internally and on our platform, which means we have a zero tolerance policy to racism. We know these values are important to our users and now more than ever, consumers are increasingly conscious of the types of businesses they patronize and support,” the brand said in the site blog post.

In order to flag these situations while also maintaining the integrity of the app, businesses that are associated with someone who has been accused of racist behavior, or that have been the target of racist behavior will get a new alert badge on the app. It will read “Business Accused of Racist Behavior” with a link to a credible news source explaining the situation.

Yelp’s platform encourages people to share their personal, first hand experiences online, so when an influx of reviews comes as a result of media coverage it flags this so individuals know not all of the reviews are based on customer experiences. According to Yelp: “This policy is critical to mitigating fake reviews and maintaining the integrity of content on our platform. We don’t allow people to leave reviews based on media reports because it can artificially inflate or deflate a business’s star rating.”

This change in the app comes as a way to continue to provide customers with the most accurate reviews of restaurants so they can safely down