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Friday, September 23, 2011

Yelp Says Outright Lying is "Personal Opinion"

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 3:12 PM


Jesse Hirsch recently brought to my attention a review of Tuba restaurant on Yelp, by a woman who claims to write for us. She wrote:

This place totally rocks! The food blows your mind away. I also write for SF weekly and I definitely am writing about them this week!

There's only one problem: She doesn't write for us. I'm the editor here; I know all of our writers, and what they are and aren't assigned to do.

As soon as I saw it, I set out to correct it. But talking to Yelp isn't easy.

I don't have any contacts at Yelp, so I had to go in the front door. I couldn't find a "contact Yelp" phone number or email address. You have to sign in to Yelp's system to access feedback. So I did that.

I sent the liar this message: "I am the food editor at SF Weekly. Who are you? We don't have a Maya C. working for us right now. Please explain why you cite us in your review of Tuba."

And I sent Yelp a message I didn't keep a copy of, saying that this woman claims to work for SF Weekly, but I am the food editor and she does not.

The liar sent this response: "sf weekly voice, I will fix it. I am very very sorry to cite your name, I haven't checked my reviews since." As of this moment, she hasn't fixed it.

And Yelp won't. Here's the email I got today:


You want to know the difference between Yelp and professional media? If you point out to me that I'm wrong, I'll correct it and maybe apologize. Yelp, on the other hand, apparently thinks lying about one's job is a "personal experience and opinion."

At SF Weekly, we worry about our credibility. Yelp apparently has none.

If you're curious, here's the full Yelp review. Apparently Yelp will literally allow anything. To quote their mendacious but excitable reviewer, it's just A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!


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W. Blake Gray


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