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Yelp.com: 'User-generated content', or extortion?

Can you trust a web site full of user-written reviews if the site's advertising sales people offer to manipulate which reviews are displayed first?

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This is certainly about Boston; Yelp's presence in Boston is growing and the community is very strong.

Before you judge, though, please also read Yelp's official reply (and follow-ups):




(Skip to the spoiler? It's just user-generated content.)

Voting closed 0

The Yelp responses don't really shed any light on the matter - they're just what one would expect regardless of whether or not the allegations were true.

Fwiw, I've heard similar grumbles from some business folk I know here in Boston, but I also know several who are huge fans of the yelp community and credit the site as a factor in their success.

I've been using the site for a long time, and have submitted a dozen or so reviews myself. I often find it very useful, but I have to admit that on a couple of occasions, I've seen reviews (not mine) that I thought were pretty legit disappear from the site and wondered why.

The comments after the East Bay article would suggest that there are folks throughout the country with similar stories. I guess if yelp salepeople are being as blatant about this as the story makes out, they're going to get tapped for extortion somewhere, sooner or later (but IANAL, natch).

Voting closed 0