Yelp Disputes Extortion Story
Yelp is denying reports that its sales reps tried to get money out of local business owners in exchange for minimizing negative ratings on the popular site.
On Thursday, the East Bay Express, an alternative weekly in Emeryville, Calif., published a 4,500-word story that said Yelp’s salespeople told merchants they could bury bad reviews in exchange for advertising. It quotes several restaurateurs and store managers–some named, some anonymous–who declined the offer but then saw positive reviews disappear or negative ones become more prominent.
Yelp is wildly popular, and the story ignited a furor online.
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