MacNN | Yelp fires back at critics claiming review manipulation by sales staff
Mac News Network View: Standard | Headlines | Categorized | Slim
Mac News Network
Mac News iPod News Reviews Forums
 

Desktop Headlines
Yelp fires back at critics claiming review manipulation by sales staff
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 @ 10:45pm

Crowdsourced review service Yelp has come under attack again over reports of business owners complaints that reviews are "too self-centered and not trustworthy" and that the company hides reviews to its own benefit. A blog post by Yelp's Vice President of Communications Vince Sollitto refutes the claims which have been reported to the media, and hopes to clear up the service's reputation.



A Los Angeles Times article points out a case where a tutoring firm wasn't going to advertise on Yelp based on a single one-star review. According to the article "The salesperson claimed she couldn’t do anything directly, but would let the relevant department know. Suddenly, the negative review was gone and some positive reviews got through." Despite the report's claim, there is no chain of evidence pointing to manipulation of the system by the sales agent, but the appearance of impropriety is clear. Sollitto points out that third party research has "debunked the conspiracy" connecting advertising and automated filtering. He says that the misbelief of bias "stems from Yelp’s efforts to protect consumers from those who are constantly trying to game the system. Yelp uses automated software to showcase the most helpful and reliable reviews from among the millions submitted. Those that don’t make the grade -- about 20 percent -- are posted to a separate "Filtered Review" page. So, in trying to prevent unethical wrongdoing on Yelp, Yelp gets accused of the same." Yelp's blog post attempts to turn the tables on the journalists pointing out business' first-hand reports. Sollitto says that "Presumably, those reporters in the stories mentioned earlier were seeking to give a voice to the small business owner as the 'little guy,' but in the process seem to have forgotten about another 'little guy': the consumer who is looking for honest assessments of local businesses and not the misdirection of deceptive or biased reviews."

Comments on this Article
Print Friendly Version
Email to a Friend
Add MacNN to Your RSS Feeds
Buy from the Apple Store


Related Stories:

Today's MacNN Stories:

  • Briefly: Flickr 3.0 for iOS, Photos+ gains Dropbox support - 8:56 PM EST
  • Deals: RadioShack dropping price on iPhone 5s, Pixelmator price drop - 7:00 PM EST
  • Michael's craft store chain hit by massive, long-running data breach - 6:59 PM EST
  • FCC limiting 2015 AT&T, Verizon bandwidth auction purchases - 6:15 PM EST
  • Facebook to roll out Nearby Friends option for iOS, Android apps - 3:27 PM EST
  • Google launching test of fiber Internet for business in Kansas City - 3:18 PM EST
  • Dropbox buys out Loom photo service, Hackpad collaboration tool - 1:55 PM EST
  • Briefly: Chromecast gains MLB.TV broadcasts, live YouTube - 1:41 PM EST
  • Briefly: RunKeeper's new Breeze app, Beamer 2.0 - 1:24 PM EST
  • Apple online store begins carrying refurbished Retina iPad minis - 12:24 PM EST
  • Sonos plans software update to make speaker system completely wireless - 11:50 AM EST
  • New Apple retail chief Ahrendts may not join until June - 11:13 AM EST
  • Apple to mark Earth Day 2014 at retail and on campus - 10:40 AM EST
  • Apple readies iOS 7.1.1, accelerates iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 testing - 9:54 AM EST
  • BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Now TV iOS apps suddenly failing to stream video - 9:26 AM EST
  • Eyefi launches cloud storage service for Mobi Wi-Fi memory cards - 7:17 AM EST
  • Macworld gems: The Roost MacBook stand, iMacompanion USB port - 1:23 AM EST
  • Briefly: Text expander Typinator 5.9, PDFpen 6.2 released - 12:27 AM EST

    Today's iPodNN Stories:
  • Effort arises to save Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange from dissolution - 7:30 PM EST
  • AMD beats street despite $20 million net loss on the quarter - 6:24 PM EST
  • Google invites potential users to try Glass hardware at home - 3:39 PM EST
  • Issues with XP Microsoft Security Essentials causing crashes, slowness - 2:17 PM EST
  • Google aims for January launch of Project Ara, organizes $100K contest - 9:51 AM EST
  • No comments posted on this story yet. Please post yours.
    Your Comments
    In order to post comments, you must be a registered member of the MacNN Forums and logged in. Please login with your MacNN Forums username and password.

    MacNN Forums Login:

    MacNN Forums Password:

    Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.