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Yelp to Flag Businesses Accused of Racism With ‘Consumer Alerts’

It’s designed to ‘warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious, racially-charged actions.’

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Yelp is unveiling a new “consumer alert” to mark the pages of businesses accused of racism.

The company has recently seen more reviews warning of racist behavior at businesses, Noorie Malik, vice president of user operations, wrote in a blog post.

“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,” she said.

The consumer review site “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 or on social media, rather than on a first-hand experience with the business,” Malik explained.

“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.”

Yelp racism alert

Yelp has unveiled a “Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert.”

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Malik said Yelp doesn’t allow reviews based on media reports, as they can artificially inflate or deflate a business’s star rating.

“We advocate for personal expression and provide a platform that encourages people to share their experience online, but at the same time it’s always been Yelp’s policy that all reviews must be based on actual first-hand consumer experiences with the business,” she wrote. “This policy is critical to mitigating fake reviews and maintaining the integrity of content on our platform.”

Here’s further detail on Yelp’s new policy:

Yelp consumer alert

James Ritchie is the online content editor for SmartWork Media.

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