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Friday, March 13, 2009

They Hate Us on Yelp (And Want To Gag Us With an "AIDS-Ridden Coc%")

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Many in the Yelp kingdom hated our cover story this week, "Faux-Star Reviews." The comments section of the story is raging with Yelp supporters and defenders, and the ratings for SF Weekly on Yelp have taken a nosedive as of late, as shown in the screen shot:

click to enlarge rsz_yelp.jpg

So to perpetuate the linking of blogs (here's SFist's linking to Eater SF's page on the topic), let's highlight some of the more entertaining insight on the piece, or at least the writer:

"That dumb cun+ at SF Weekly is more of an attention whore than any

Yelper she speaks of and needs to be gagged by an AIDS-ridden coc%."
-Commenter on Eater SF.

"Also... google her - she looks like the dude from the Real World..."
-Commenter on Eater SF.


Most criticism centers around the story's portrayal of Yelpers Janney B. and Anna K. I decided to focus on them because they are well-known reviewers in the Yelp kingdom (with lots of "friends" and "fans") who have developed Yelp personae and write entertaining reviews. They were friendly women who were candid in talking about the Web site, and all the information I included came directly from our interviews or their reviews. That section provided some insight on the review process of prolific Yelpers, not a character assassination. Yes, we quoted some business owners who have low opinions of Yelpers in general a few paragraphs down, but the comments were not directed at these two Yelpers specifically.

But they did not agree. Janney B. has changed her Yelp profile's slogan to "Out of Charmin? Try the SF Weekly," and the Yelpers are rallying in support. People have sent Janney e-compliments ranging from "I'm going to send [the reporter] doggy poop in a box" to one from Nish N., an employee of Yelp, saying "Lauren Smiley needs to get laid." (That, while Yelp spokesperson Stephanie Ichinose called to say the piece was a "really well balanced story in the end.") Even though Anna K. herself referred to her Yelp persona as a "floozy," someone posting as Anna K.  left a comment on the story concluding: "I'd rather be labeled as a ditz than a cold hearted bitch anyday." 

Update: A commenter just alerted us to the Yelp talk thread on the story. Click here.

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Lauren Smiley

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