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