EVERYTOWN, USA – Apparently, Yelp has decided to launch a new feature: letting people know when a business is accused of racism.
Today, 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.
— Yelp (@Yelp) October 8, 2020
It’s not a joke – the company literally placed it on their Twitter page that they’ll have a new “customer alert” to inform people that a business has been “accused of racist conduct”.
Now, when a business gains attention for reports of racist conduct, 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. https://t.co/1K2bJ46uM8
— Yelp (@Yelp) October 8, 2020
In a series of tweets posted to Yelp’s official Twitter account they noted the following:
“Today, 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.”
This company that has been on the decline for some time now, monetarily at least, alleged that “communities have always turned to Yelp in reaction to current events”:
“Communities have always turned to Yelp in reaction to current events, and our User Operations team already places alerts on business pages when we notice an unusual uptick in reviews that are based on what someone may have seen in the news, rather than on a first-hand experience.”
Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I ever used Yelp, sought a Yelp review – the only thing I can genuinely associate with Yelp is that is mostly full of spam reviews. Well – now people can expect even worse spam reviews to plague the site.
Before addressing the ridiculous idea of the racist company notification on their platform, it should be addressed just how crummy Yelp has been doing as of late.
Here’s what Forbes wrote about the company in April of 2020:
“Yelp’s business has been negatively impacted as a large number of local businesses and restaurants are struggling due to the pandemic. Between January 31st and March 31st, Yelp stock has lost 48% of its value (vs. about a 23% decline in the S&P 500).”
To gather some insight – while Yelp affords reviews for just about any business that directly serves customers, its roots were in restaurants.
Furthermore, Yelp has roughly 38 million unique mobile users per month whereas Google has 2.5 billion and when people look up a business, where do you think they look it up?
Also, Yelp has been notorious for allegedly pressuring businesses to pay them to showcase their positive reviews first, when Google doesn’t ask for any money from business owners for the better reviews to be prominently displayed.
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But as if having a business’ worst reviews rising to the top of the platform wasn’t enough – now Yelp will have a notification placed next to a business profile that say “Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert” if there’s any sort of news article that alleges racism at a business.
Needless to say, this has prompted a bevy of responses online that notes just how weaponized this latest feature on Yelp will become.
One more: My fortune cookie didn't have an actual fortune in it, so we all know what that means.
— America's Speaking 4 More 🇺🇸 (@KissMyMima) October 10, 2020
And to make matters worse, apparently groups said to be affiliated with Antifa are already trying to weaponize this newest feature by curating “a list” of those who are “hanging blue lives garbage in their store”.
With @Yelp announcing it is going to put notices on businesses accused of “racist behavior,” one #antifa group responsible for organizing the violent protests in Portland is now compiling a list. pic.twitter.com/EubfxcztuD
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) October 9, 2020
The Twitter account that posted said rally cry to weaponize the Yelp feature bears the handle of “@safePDXprotest” and has since protected their Twitter account from non-followers reading their tweets.
Oh, it gets worse – or better – depending on how you look at things. A local marijuana dispensary in Portland was already named on this list that “@safePDXprotest” is trying to target. And the reason why is hilarious: because someone mistook a PPB notice of an up-to-date alarm system notice as being “pro cop shit in the windows”.
My Dawg, We're one of the few minority owned business with mostly minority employees. What Pro-cop thing are you talking about? Are you referring to this portland police alarm permit we are required to display since day one? pic.twitter.com/BHRPgcYFUm
— Brothers Cannabis (@broscannabis) October 9, 2020
And then you have others trying to add a food cart in Portland to the list being developed by “@safePDXprotest” because it a sign on it says “Trump 2020”. At the same time – this food cart sign also says “Black Lives Matter,” “Muslim Lives Matter,” and “All Lives Matter”.
I’m not exactly where the racism is from this food cart, but these BLM/Antifa folks aren’t exactly the smartest bunch either.
Small Pharoah’s pic.twitter.com/tifNeQehhm
— hauntifa haunt dog 👻🌭 (@666hotdogs666) October 8, 2020
This nonsense from Yelp has even caught the attention of Donald Trump Jr. where he noted the following:
“The bullshit never ends. What are the odds that this isn’t insanely abused?”
They play a game you can’t win. It’s like catching air. None of it exist but can ruin a business and people’s livelihoods. It’s evil. It’s no different than the mob looting and burning down stores.
— Bob Balfe (@bobbalfesports) October 9, 2020
Chances are – the odds are going to be pretty high. While Yelp proclaims that they’re going to need an “article” that links to supporting said racist accusations – there’s literally numerous blogs, far-left websites and the ilk that habitually call things “racist” when they’re typically not.
However, the silver lining is that Yelp is on the decline and this move seems like it was an attention grab for Yelp to get more interaction and possibly sell people more business accounts (likely to extort companies out of removing negative racism reviews).
Yelp is to business reviews what Myspace is to social media. It still exists, but nobody really uses it anymore.
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