Local review site Yelp has announced new measures to confront discrimination. On Thursday, the site announced the changes with a statement that it’d use an alert when there was “resounding evidence” of a business practicing racial discrimination.
The statement reads that when Yelp notices an unusual spike in activity on a business’s page, a team of moderators will investigate and temporarily disable content. “We’ve seen that reviews mentioning Black-owned businesses were up more than 617 percent this summer compared to last summer,” VP of User Operations Noorie Malik notes.
At that point, an alert will be placed on the page to warn users that some reviews may not be based on first-hand experiences. “As the nation reckons with issues of systemic racism,” Malik continues, “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.”
Over the summer, Yelp announced initiatives to support Black-owned businesses, partnering with My Black Receipt to launch a Black-owned attribute for business profiles. The company also joined the 15 Percent Pledge to amplify Black-owned businesses.
Conservatives, like Donald Trump Jr., for one, aren’t in favor of the decision.
“The bullshit never ends,” he tweeted Friday morning. “What are the odds that this isn’t insanely abused?”
“Yelp’s top priority is to ensure the trust and safety of our users,” the statement reads. “And provide them with reliable content to inform their spending decisions, including decisions about whether they’ll be welcome and safe at a particular business.”
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