Restaurants and other establishments looking to game the system by purchasing positive reviews on Yelp have officially been put on notice. The influential reviews site has rolled out a new system that can identify fake or purchased reviews and warns users of their presence— effectively shaming the proprietor for being complicit in the growing practice.
"We want to make sure consumers are making informed decisions.," Yelp said in a blog post explaining the move. "Yelp’s automated review filter is working around the clock to flag these types of biased reviews, and we believe that you deserve the right to know when this type of activity is taking place behind the scenes."
Once a restaurant has been flagged as a perpetrator, it's Yelp page will bare the warning label for a full 90 days thereafter. If continued attempts to post fake reviews are detected, the label will stick for even longer. Unscrupulous entrepreneurs be forewarned.