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Yelp now flags businesses accused of racism

Posted at 10:42 AM, Oct 12, 2020

Yelp has released a new consumer alert banner that cautions patrons of businesses accused of racist behavior.

Thursday, Yelp announced its new "Business Accused of Racist Behavior" alert banner will appear on Yelp pages where an employee at an establishment is accused of racist behavior. According to Yelp's news release, such alerts will include a news article with reported incidents of racism, including racist language or symbols, to help inform users of places that have gained public attention for racist conduct.

Reports of businesses engaging in alleged racist behavior on Yelp had increased since late May when the police killing of George Floyd sparked protests across the country.

In taking a "firm stance against racism," Yelp rolled out several initiatives to promote Black-owned businesses this summer. According to Yelp, reviews for Black-owned businesses rose by 617% compared to last summer. Additionally, Yelp said support for women-owned businesses also increased with review mentions up by 114% this summer.

According to Yelp, more than 450 racist behavior alerts were placed on business pages between May 26 and September 30. These businesses received the alerts because they were accused, or the target, of racist behavior related to the Black Lives Matter movement.

A company spokesperson says the site will not allow people to leave reviews based on media reports because it can "artificially inflate or deflate a business's star rating."

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