I had been on YELP for 12 years. Always taking photos wherever I went, always reviewing the slightest of places. At first YELP seemed like a pretty righteous place. It appeared to be doing a very important public service, by letting consumers know which bad businesses to avoid and giving proper praise to the good ones. It was never a perfect system, they made mistakes but for the part it was usually on track.
They had recommended reviews and non-recommended reviews. The non-recommended reviews could be spotted a mile away. The negative ones were written in such a way that anyone with half a brain could tell that they done by a disgruntled former employee or maybe even an angry competing business. And of course, the fake positive ones that were often written by the business itself. You know the type, 1 review and 0 friends all written on the same day. But over the last few years, I've noticed an ugly trend. It seemed that not only were fake reviews being withheld from the overall score of a business but so were real ones. Including someone like me who had wasted my time on that site for 12 years! There were businesses rated with one star although they had 5-star legitimate reviews in the non-recommended section that YELP refused to release unless they paid YELP off. There are also horrible companies on YELP that have 4 and 5 stars reviews on the surface but all of their one-star reviews are hidden, why? Because they paid YELP off for the favor.
YELP is nothing more than a fraudulent extortion scam. YELP does a disservice to the reviewers, to the public but most of all to businesses! In this age of tech tyranny, I am almost ashamed of myself for ever being naive enough to think that their online reviews were legit. In fact, many online review sites are absolute garbage where the highest bidder can have negative true reviews removed or suppressed. And this becomes a real ethical issue because sometimes this bad review could be an incompetent Doctor who has killed someone or Lawyer who robbed a client, we're just not talking about someone's taco stand. But even if we were talking about that little taco stand, this is still unethical. How is a struggling small business supposed to survive paying off a dirt bag bully like YELP, they don't have the resources. With holding 5 stars reviews for a company like that could be devastating for them.
I reached out to YELP and received a condescending boiler plate email. They tried to blame it on their "software" or "the quality" of the review. There was a company where I gave a very detailed analysis and 4-star review that was "not recommended" but the recommended review stated "this place be whacked" with a one star. I went on my YELP profile and stated that I could no longer be a part of such a disreputable and fraudulent company that is pretty much presenting to the world FAKE REVIEWS! The public isn't deciding the reviews, BIG BROTHER YELP IS! So, what's the point? Of course, in their revolting way of doing business they made sure they blocked me from their site, I say GOOD! Just wish I could get all my photos back! The public helped to build YELP but the public is who YELP is screwing over. Don't use YELP period. You can't trust the reviews because they are skewed and you shouldn't write any because they will be used in nefarious way and not how you intended and oh you poor businesses, run for the hills.
It becomes very depressing when you are an individual being bullied by a big rich and powerful diabolical entity. But if everyone who has been victimized by this filth, unites and stands together we can take YELP down. They have gone too far. Look at all their negative reviews with the BBB and all of the people who are complaining about them on Facebook on their own page. We must stop resigning our self to the false belief of "they are too big to be taken down", this only emboldens bullies like YELP, they must be stopped. Class action lawsuit, whatever it takes send YELP and its greasy CEO packing! Enough already with their mob like extortion and crimes.