Yelp will now alert users when a business comes under racist accusation

Yelp will now alert users when a business comes under racist accusation

Yelp plans to alert users when a business on its platform has been accused of racist conduct, the company announced in a blog post. When someone associated with a business is accused of or is the target of racist behavior; Yelp will apply its general public attention alert. But if there’s “resounding evidence of egregious, racist actions;” by a business owner or employees; such as using racist symbols or slurs; Yelp will apply a “business accused of racist behavior alert;” and link to a credible news source to provide users more information.

“As the nation reckons with issues of systemic racism; we’ve seen in the last few months that there is a clear need to warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious; racially charged actions; to help people make more informed spending decisions,” said Noorie Malik, Yelp vice president of user operations.

It’s not totally clear what exactly will qualify as “racist behavior;” under the updated alert system; but it continues Yelp’s alignment with the Black Lives Matter movement. The company put public attention alerts into place; following what it said was a rise in social activism around the Black Lives Matter movement. The public attention alerts let customers know why a business might have more than the usual number of reviews; due to increased attention in the media.

Between May 26th and September 30th, Yelp says it placed more than 450 public attention alerts on the pages of businesses; either accused of or targeted by racist behavior related to the Black Lives Matter movement.

In June, Yelp launched a new tool to allow businesses on the platform to identify themselves as Black-owned. Yelp says it saw a 617 percent increase in reviews; mentioning Black-owned businesses between summer 2019 and summer 2020.

And earlier this year, the company issued its first Consumer Alerts report; which showed it shut down 550 accounts associated with a group generating fake reviews; and put more than 300 alerts on pages where the business owners were believed to be encouraging or paying for reviews.

 

About The Author

Kingsley Alaribe is a Digital Marketer with 1stNews, and writes the weekly column, Strangers and Lovers. He is also a Data Scientist. Email: [email protected]

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