San Francisco – Facing a barrage of class action lawsuits, Yelp,
the provider of user-generated local restaurant and business reviews, announced
on Tuesday that it will no longer let businesses pay to push a
"favorite" review to the top of the page, and will no longer edit out
reviews it deemed to be fraudulent. Yelp has been hit with a number of class
actions, filed on behalf of businesses that have advertised on the service and
say that Yelp extorted them into paying for ads in exchange for favorable

"Despite our best efforts to educate consumers and the small
business community, myths about Yelp have persisted," Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman
in a blog post.

"We’ve said all along we believe these incorrect notions
stem from the combination of the filter and this advertising feature — and
we’re practicing what we preach.

"Lifting the veil on our review filter and doing
away with ‘Favorite Review’ will make it even clearer that displayed reviews on
Yelp are completely independent of advertising — or any sort of manipulation."

Stoppelman added that the removal of the filter, which will surface all
previous reviews of a business that were previously edited out, for whatever
reason, will let a user "take a look at any business listing on Yelp and
see for yourself the work the review filter has done behind the scenes."

will still be able to see the ‘filtered’ Yelp results if they wish, by toggling
a preference setting on the site.

Finally, the company said it has created a
Small Business Advisory Council to address concerns of small business owners.


Related Links:

(Yelp blog)
(DMW previous coverage)
(DMW previous coverage)


  1. Its sad to see that these digital extortionist are allowed to function at all..I am a small business owner and was approached by yelp to pay $350.00/month. I turned them down becuase I could not fit in a budget. Three weeks later a couple of customers were pointing out that many of their positive reviews were being filtered. Instead they saw some very strange negative reviews popping up…How can I join the lawsuit…anyone know/