The social media community has known this for a while. It’s been a huge conversation of integrity and morality. From competitors posting bad reviews to undermine the competition to YELP’s aggressive sales.
“Yelp hosts about 30 million reviews — anyone can write what they think about a company and rate it from a low of one star to a high of five. However, the company uses an undisclosed algorithm to filter out about 20 percent of the reviews — with the goal, it says, of enforcing guidelines such as no hate speech, and eliminating fake reviews.
The workings of that filter system were part of a class-action lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, that was dismissed in October and is now on appeal. The four firms that sued claimed Yelp “unlawfully manipulated the content of their business review pages in order to induce them to pay for advertising.”
Reviews that are filtered out can be seen only by clicking the light gray word “filtered” at the bottom of the Yelp page. The filtered reviews are also not calculated in businesses’ overall ratings.”
Yelp’s ad pitch gets bad reviews from some Seattle-area business owners
Owners of some small businesses here say they’ve been pressured to Yelp when the consumer review site’s screening system displays disproportionately negative reviews.
By Johanna Somers
Seattle Times business reporter