Yelp Will Mark Business Pages With Alerts If Accused of Racism

Yelp says it will add “business accused of racist behavior” alerts to any pages where customers and employees have reported incidents of racism.

yelp racism

Image via Getty/ SOPA Images

yelp racism

Yelp has announced that it will post alerts on business pages where customers or employees have reported “overtly racist actions.”

The local search and review site said customers will now be able to flag incidents of racism, and the site will place a “business accused of racist behavior” alert on an establishment’s page when it “gains public attention for reports of racist conduct, such as using racist language or symbols.”

“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,” Noorie Malik, VP of user operations, wrote in a blog post.

Communities have always turned to Yelp in reaction to current events, and our User Operations team already places alerts on business pages when we notice an unusual uptick in reviews that are based on what someone may have seen in the news, rather than on a first-hand experience.

— Yelp (@Yelp) October 8, 2020

Now, when a business gains attention for reports of racist conduct, Yelp will place a new Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert on their Yelp page to inform users, along with a link to a news article where they can learn more.

— Yelp (@Yelp) October 8, 2020

There has been a swell in the number of reports of businesses participating in alleged racist behavior since May after the police killing of George Floyd and the ongoing protests across the U.S.

Yelp’s announcement had many wondering how it will carry out the initiative and guarantee that businesses are not falsely targeted with reports of racism or defamatory reviews, which can hurt an establishment. But Yelp says that the racism alerts will be authenticated by links to news stories, where customers can find out more about the incident. 

The company has used similar lower-level “public attention” alerts to flag establishments involved in racist incidents in the past. The site verifies such allegations using a team of moderators who study the Yelp comments of a business to see if other users have also had the same experience.

Latest in Life