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

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

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

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Yelp says it will alert users of businesses accused of racist behavior

Yelp says it will alert users of businesses accused of racist behavior

  • Yelp will now flag businesses that have been accused of “overt” racism as a warning to users. 
  • The “Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert” will feature a red icon that will appear at the top of the page for the business and a news article would be linked to the accused businesses. 
  • The measure is in response to an increase in the number of reviews warning of racist behavior at local businesses in the past few months. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Yelp announced on Thursday that it would flag businesses that have been accused of “overt” racism as a warning to users. 

“We’re announcing a new consumer alert to stand against racism. In the last few months, we’ve seen 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 tweet

The company said the “Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert” will feature a red icon that will appear at the top of the page for the business, and a news article would be linked so users can “learn more.”

“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,” Noorie Malik, Yelp’s vice president of user operations said in an announcement of the new policy. 

The company said it saw an increase in the number of reviews warning of racist behavior at businesses in the last few months as the “nation reckons with issues of systemic racism.”

Protests erupted across the US

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Yelp launches alert that identifies businesses accused of racism

Yelp launches alert that identifies businesses accused of racism

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 (Photo: Yelp)

Americans are increasingly using Yelp to sound the alarm after encountering racist practices at businesses across the country. 

In the months following George Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer, an increasing number of reviewers have warned fellow users of racist conduct at local businesses, Yelp says. 

On Thursday, the platform announced plans to pick up where watchdog users left off with the launch of a consumer alert that flags businesses accused of racist behavior. The move is meant to give patrons “reliable” and actionable information while holding business owners accountable for their actions, the platform says. 

“Now more than ever, consumers are increasingly conscious of the types of businesses they patronize and support. They are ‘voting with their dollars,’ so to speak,” said Noorie Malik, Yelp’s vice president of user operations.  “We needed a better solution to inform consumers about businesses allegedly associated with egregious, racially-charged actions to help people feel comfortable patronizing a business.”

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Yelp’s new “Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert” is meant to serve innocent business owners and Yelp users alike, the app says. On one hand, it protects businesses from an avalanche of angry artificial reviews and it lets consumers know what they might be up against before patronizing a store. 

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Review bombs

On Yelp, a business’ star rating can be artificially inflated or deflated by activists leaving reviews for stores they’ve never been to.

This type of scenario played out in 2012 after a pizza parlor owner hugged President Obama igniting social responses from people on both sides of the aisle. Some posted one-star reviews on the restaurant’s page attacking the owner. Others

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