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 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