Yelp Won’t Help Prop 8. Boycotts

Popular ratings site is taking down reviews which alert customers if a business or one of its employees donated money to the ‘Yes on 8’ campaign, saying it violates their terms of use policy. We’ve always maintained that the reviews of businesses on yelp should be reviews of the customer experience, not the political leaning or voting record of a business owner or its employees”, says a spokesperson. [ABC7]

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  • David Hauslaib, Queerty

    I’m actually quite interested to see what Queerty readers have to say about this. Yelp, obviously, is a private business and can do as they please, which includes not becoming a billboard for gay rights advocates. But if you create a forum for anyone to review a restaurant, should “food,” “service,” and “ambiance” be joined by “political leanings”?

  • fredo777

    I think they should allow just about any valid reason why certain potential patrons might want to avoid a certain establishment, unless of course their comment is offensive + starts ranting about the race/sexual orientation of its clientele or staff, etc. in a negative way.

    Eh, I don’t know. Just riffing here. I spose they can do whatever they want with their site, as long as it’s fair + consistently carried out for all such cases.

  • Paul

    This reminds me of a little story. About my cousin’s wife. We’ll call her… Amy. She’s what you might call a b*tch. My ultra-Christian family doesn’t have the sack to tell her she’s a less-than-pleasant person, so she continues her less-than-pleasant ways. My position has always been: when someone is an ass, you tell that person, and perhaps he/she changes their behavior.

    I use Yelp a lot. It wouldn’t matter if it were a restaurant, a theatre, or a dry cleaning joint… if the manager gave money to Prop 8, I’d stop going. People need to be held accountable for their actions, or else the Amys of the world continue in their b*tchiness, oblivious to the world around them.

    I’m not even sure it’s a good business decision. If the tech-savvy gays learn that Yelp is scrubbing their reviews of any Prop 8 info, they’ll just stop using the website. On the other hand, people who could care less will merely skim over an angry Prop 8-related review.

  • SHoskins

    Yelp is a service to share information regarding services. I certainly will not be patronizing the businesses I find that gave to the Yes on 8 campaign. I see no reason why we cannot post this sort of information.

    I actually did post on Yelp the local Austin Texas businesses that were supporting the passing of 8. My comments were removed and I was threatened with a slander lawsuit.

  • gayinsf

    …the fact that they contributed to H8 is another criterion I’d consider when selecting a business … all and any known factors should be included in their post.

  • Jaroslaw

    Seems to me if the information is accurate, the customer could make up his own mind. Isn’t that the purpose of information?

    Heck, whether or not someone donated to Yes on 8 is a lot more objective than “a waitress was rude to me.” They either donated or not. What makes rude behavior is not the same to all customers.

  • Jason

    @SHoskins: The slander lawsuit claim would not be valid. As long as there is a record showing that the business made a monetary donation in support of Proposition 8, your actions were completely legal. You are stating fact and that is not slander.

  • Raphael

    I’m an avid yelper, and I had some of my reviews taken down for this reason.

    And I kind of agree with their decision.

    I think it’s fair to give a business a poor review for supporting prop 8 if their support calls into question their ability to do a good job. For example, I would think that negative reviews of health care providers are appropriate because their ability to provide services in a nondiscriminatory fashion are open to question.

  • Raphael

    Oh, and there are plenty of uncensored discussion threads on yelp that cover exactly this sort of information.

  • Jeff

    I agree with Bitch Republic: put Yelp on the boycott list as well.

    If I’m choosing a new restaurant to visit, I want to know if I’m going to be giving money to people who will use it to oppress me.

    Yelp is protecting the oppressors. They’re collaborators.

  • Inertia_90

    @Bitch Republic: I agree. This is valid information in choosing where to spend our money. If they are not part of the solution, they are part of the problem.

  • sparkle obama

    My position has always been: when someone is an ass, you tell that person, and perhaps he/she changes their behavior.

    that is how conservative christians feel about YOU!
    perhaps your sister-in-law was born that way!
    suck it up, dry your tears & take it back to the supreme court.

  • dizzyspins

    I understand Yelp wanting to steer clear of the fray, but I think those posts should remain on the site. If i heard a store manager call someone a racial epithet and posted about it, would they take that comment down because it didn’t directly impact my transaction? If rudeness is a legitimate criticism, certainly bigotry is as well.

    I understand that website moderators need to remove obscene postings, but I question the validity of a site that deletes comments that are rational and factual, even if they’re off-topic.

  • Dean Broderick

    Hi-Just in case Prop8 isn’t overturned next month,I am trying to start a website to re-active the boycott lists.I feel boycotts are an extremely effective tool. Would you be interested in taking over my site? It has an easy-to-remember name, It is registered ‘byproxy’ for safety. Thank you. Dean [email protected]

  • Paul

    I received an email that Yelp removed reviews they felt were created due to the business contributions to Prop 8. They said that violated their TOS. I closed my Yelp account. I’m won’t patronize businesses that would use my own money to oppress me. And if that information is not welcome on Yelp, I have no use for it.

  • Lance

    I’m a small business owner and I can tell you that it is absolutely true about Yelp extortion! My business has won all sorts of community awards, including the BBB business of year (based on public votes) and other local contests. But if you go to my Yelp page there is nothing there BUT very negative reviews. After a little investigation on my part, I was able to determine that some of the reviews were from my competitors (it’s tough being on top). When i brought this to Yelp’s attention they told me to take a hike. One week later I get a call from them trying to pitch me advertising!!!

  • Lance

    @Paul: Your lucky that you can close your account, business owners can’t. Once on Yelp forever on Yelp.

Comments are closed.