Attn. Everyone: Please Continue To Sue The Shit Out Of Yelp, It Brings Us Mirth

yelpWe’ve never made any secret of our feelings about the popular user-generated-review site Yelp: It sucks. It’s basically a breeding ground for misinformed, know-it-all complainotards whose inclusion in the Yelp Elite is a mask for deep-seated overcompensation for things that happened long ago, on playgrounds and in locker rooms after gym class. (Kind of like Philebrity, but minus the charming, narcissistic evil overlord demanding that all contributors write in exactly his voice, or else.) Anyway, what we didn’t know about Yelp was that levels of sheer, raw fuckery go straight to the top, if this class action lawsuit is to be believed. According to the filing, Yelp tried to charge — extort is a much better word — about $300 per month to a business that was reviewed unfavorably by Yelp users, in exchange for deleting or “hiding” said reviews. (Attention Internet: Nothing ever dies on the Internet.) This isn’t the first time Yelp has had accusations like this thrown its way, and in all likelihood, it won’t be the last. To which we say: Keep ‘em coming. Yelp is a troll colony, and no good can come of it.

  • http://twitter.com/timcullen timgeek

    It reminds me of a website I had to code up during the dot com boom years. The premise was that the company would send out samples of beauty products to their contact list, these users would review and rate each product, and the top 10 rated products were always 50% off. So I built the site, and an admin page which showed stats for products, top rated products, etc. etc. All standard stuff.

    Then one day, the client is like, “we need you to build another admin page. Make the page a list of all the products in the database, and let us pick what’s the top 10 rated products.”

    I never ended up having to build that admin page. The client stopped paying their bills shortly after that meeting.

    Ahhhh…interweb professionals.

  • jawnish

    but I’m still gonna milk that teat of free Yelp booze all I can. Haters gon’ hate.

  • Walter Sobchak

    This happened to a guy I know who owns a well-known Philadelphia bar; he told me the story in, I think, December. He got a call offering to “manage” his reviews for a fee. He said no thanks, and the next day, 5 negative reviews appeared on the first page.

  • junipergetsnolove

    yelp is the player-hater’s ball everyday

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/seratide dx

    c’mon son. (full disclosure: i write Yelp reviews. i am not Elite, although i have been invited to the Elite events in the past anyway because i was told by the community leader that i was “on my way,” but it never happened.)

    any website that relies primarily on user-generated content will quickly attract people looking to bitch. it’s human nature, and none of us are immune.

    that being said, there are plenty of people using Yelp for good if you actually take a minute and look for them. i’ve tried many places that i now love thanks to reading Yelp reviews. for instance, Cafe Nhu Y; after reading the reviews, i decided to seek it out, and discovered that i had walked by this little shop hundreds of times, and never noticed it. now i get sandwiches there about twice a week. i’ve introduced many friends to the beauty of their banh mi, but it is completely certain that without Yelp i would to this day still have never tasted that beautiful, beautiful hoagie.

    i’ve also tried restaurants based on recommendations from your own food blog, and honestly, Phoodie has steered me wrong a lot more often than the Yelp consensus has. so i respectfully disagree that Yelp sucks and no good can come of it.

  • tips

    Fair enough, dx, but like moms like to say, you’re one of the good ones!

  • suffer

    Jealousy is an ugly thing. People spoutin off opinions seems ok to me. It’s what makes the web go round.

  • jawnish

    The world will always be a vampire. I ain’t gonna disagree with the fact that Yelp attracts plenty of trolls and socially inept weirdos who pretty much use it as a friend/dating service – and that their business practices are mad shady. But I agree with dx – more often that not, I’ve found some gems here in Philly. I just stick to my own friends when at an elite event….

  • lightonfire

    people bitchin on yelp is fine… but the extortion by Yelp itself is ridonkulous

  • barryg

    The overall star ratings trend towards a pretty accurate consensus when there are enough reviews.

    The individual reviews, though, are terrible. Tips put it best a few weeks ago: people use the reviews in place of a blog to tell their stupid stories with an annoying writing style. Either that or the review is by someone who went somewhere once a year ago and only tried one thing.

  • colleen5

    I write reviews on Yelp (and I am Elite) and most of my reviews are 5 stars or 4 stars. I like to let people know when I think a place is awesome. Yelp is not just for whiny bitching.