Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yelp Announces Changes ― Are They Enough to Satisfy Class-Action Plaintiffs?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 11:22 AM

click to enlarge Three separate lawsuits accuse Yelp of strong-arming potential advertisers.
  • Three separate lawsuits accuse Yelp of strong-arming potential advertisers.
Are lawyers in the class-action suit against Yelp smelling victory?

Yesterday, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman announced the user review giant would drop the "Favorite Review" feature and let readers see the reviews that would otherwise have been filtered out by its automated review filter. "Now you can take a look at any business listing on Yelp and see for yourself the work the review filter has done behind the scenes," Stoppelman wrote on the Yelp blog. "Perhaps helping to protect one business from malicious reviews that might stem from a competitor."

Today, TechCrunch notes that, in a press release, the Miami and San Diego law firms who filed the class-action suit against S.F.-based Yelp called Stoppelman's announcement a "first step in the right direction." So Yelp's legal worries might soon be over, right? Not so fast, warns TechCrunch.

The "Favorite Review" allowed businesses that were Yelp advertisers to list their best review first. And while letting readers see what yelp filters identify as suspect reviews does little to address the meat of the plaintiffs' case. Namely, that Yelp put the squeeze on businesses to compel them to become advertisers, and when they didn't, gave negative reviews greater prominence on their pages.

As Kathleen Wentz of the East Bay Express points out, "it's still unclear how Yelp decides what order to display a business' reviews, and it's possible that manipulation is still occurring."

Consider today's news round one of what promises to be a long fight.

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie

  • Pin It

Tags: ,


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"