Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Gartner ranks Druva #1
in overall product rating for
enterprise endpoint backup
for the second year in a row!
E-Commerce
Is your endpoint data protected?
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Lawsuit Gets Yelp To Open Reviews, Curb Advertisers

Lawsuit Gets Yelp To Open Reviews, Curb Advertisers
By Barry Levine

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

Prompted by a lawsuit alleging extortion, Yelp will let users see all reviews of local businesses. Yelp will also stop advertisers from posting favorite reviews at the top of a page. Yelp, which carries local reviews, says it filters out fake reviews but will open them all to viewers. An analyst said the move should raise Yelp's level of trust.
 


Yelp, which helps visitors find local businesses through user reviews, is taking steps to address criticisms by small businesses -- and to respond to a lawsuit that alleges extortion. The site said Monday that it will allow users to see reviews the site has filtered out, and advertisers can no longer post their favorite review at the top of a page.

These changes, wrote cofounder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman Monday on his company's blog, "reinforce" the trust that led 31 million consumers to visit the site last month to find a "great local business." The changes, he said, "make it even more clear that Yelp treats review content equally for all businesses, with no connection between advertising and reviews."

'An Extortion Scheme'

A key incentive behind the changes is a class-action suit filed in February in a California federal court, alleging that Yelp, according to the plaintiff, "runs an extortion scheme in which the company's employees call businesses demanding monthly payments, in the guise of 'advertising contracts,' in exchange for removing or modifying negative reviews appearing on the site."

The plaintiff, a veterinary hospital in Long Beach, Calif., said it asked Yelp to remove "a false and defamatory review," but the site refused. Instead, the hospital said, the company's sales people kept demanding $300 a month in exchange "for hiding or removing the negative review." The hospital also said similar practices by the site relating to other businesses have been documented in news stories.

Yelp said the complaints were false.

The company said its filter uses a secret algorithm to move users' reviews from their own user pages onto business pages, in order to filter out fake reviews. Yelp said it continually tunes the filter to establish which of the registered users, who are the only ones allowed to post reviews, are the most trusted and therefore worthy of being shown with the business listing.

'Lift the Veil'

But now users can click a link to "lift the veil on our review filter," as Stoppelman wrote, to see all submitted reviews. He added this can help them see that the filter often helps "protect one business from malicious reviews that might stem from a competitor."

The company also said that the "Favorite Review" feature, although clearly labeled as part of an ad, "led some people to the wrong conclusions about whether businesses could control the review content on their page" -- which, it said, they can't.

Yelp, founded in 2004, focuses on helping people find local businesses such as restaurants, dentists, hair stylists, and mechanics. "Yelpers" have written more than 10 million local reviews, and businesses can post offers, photos and messages to customers. The site makes money by selling ads to local businesses.

Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for consumer technology at the NPD Group, said that, "in general, transparency should be the mantra for any site with reviews and advertising," since it can "raise the level of trust Yelp has with its visitors."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Get Powerful App Acceleration with Cisco. In a world where time is money, you need to accelerate the speed at which data moves through your data center. Cisco UCS Invicta delivers powerful, easy-to-manage application acceleration for data-intensive workloads. So you can make decisions faster and outpace the competition. Learn More.


 E-Commerce
1.   Facebook Offers Cross-Device Analytics
2.   Pre-IPO Alibaba Has Accounting Woes
3.   App Directly Links Brands, Consumers
4.   Online Sites vs. Retailing in India
5.   Experian Debuts Anti-Fraud Platform


advertisement
Call Center Training: Tips for Success
Hire right, role play, and keep it real.
Average Rating:
Online Retailers Ponder Actual Stores
'Click-and-mortar' shops popping up.
Average Rating:
Facebook Offers Cross-Device Analytics
Marketers can track ad conversions.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
Businesses everywhere want computing solutions that do more for less money, and Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 
Samsung, B&N Target Amazon with Nook Tablet
They've seen the enemy and it is Amazon. So Samsung and Barnes & Noble are teaming up to combat their common foe with a 7-inch tablet that blends Samsung’s tech, Nook’s content and e-reader platform.
 
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.