Yelp creates alert to warn consumers of businesses accused of racist behavior

Yelp Logo - via Facebook (YELP)

HOUSTON – Yelp announced that it will now alert consumers of businesses that are accused of racist behavior in efforts to fight against racism and ensure the safety of its community following the rise in the Black Lives Matter movement, according to the company.

How will it work?

When Yelp receives a large number of complaints of racist behavior from a company, its team will investigate and temporarily disable content as it places an alert on the business’s page to warn users that “some of these reviews may not be based on first-hand experiences.”

Here’s how Yelp will handle these cases:

- Default to a general Public Attention Alert to inform customers if someone associated with the business was accused of, or the target of, racist behavior.

- Yelp says it will only escalate to a Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert when there’s resounding evidence of egregious, racist actions from a business owner or employee, such as using overtly racist slurs or symbols. The alert will always link back to a news article from a credible media outlet so users can learn more about the incidents.

Yelp stated the following on its stance to combat racism:

“At Yelp, we value diversity, inclusion and belonging, both internally and on our platform, which means we have a zero tolerance policy to racism. We know these values are important to our users and now more than ever, consumers are increasingly conscious of the types of businesses they patronize and support. In fact, we’ve seen that reviews mentioning Black-owned businesses were up more than 617% this summer compared to last summer. Support for women-owned businesses has also increased, with review mentions up 114% for the same time period.”

So far this year, Yelp introduced several initiatives to help users find and support Black-owned businesses, partnering with My Black Receipt on the launch of a Black-owned business attribute and joined the 15 Percent Pledge to further amplify Black-owned businesses.

While searches for Black-owned businesses surged on Yelp, the company said so did the volume of reviews “warning users of racist behavior at businesses.”

In response to the increased complaints, Yelp introduced the now place Consumer Alert on business pages to caution people about businesses that may be associated with overtly racist actions.

Read more about Yelp’s new policy here.

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