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Yelp Founder Says “No Extortion — Just a Misunderstood Algorithm”

March 27th, 2010 03:42 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Early last year, a story in the East Bay Examiner reported that review site Yelp’s ad sales force was using hardball tactics that amount to extortion — essentially, suggesting that negative reviews would remain prominent on the Yelp page for a particular restaurant or other business, unless the business bought advertising through Yelp, in which case Yelp could “do something” about the negative reviews. In a recent interview with the New York Times (the questions seem rather softball, but they do address this issue), Yelp co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman says it just isn’t so, and blames unhappiness by business owners with the review site on the site’s “automated and algorithmic” review-filtering system, which he describes as “counterintuitive.” Stoppelman also says that Yelp’s advertising salesmen have no connection to that filtering system, which doesn’t quite answer the question of whether the salesmen claimed to be able to influence the reviews displayed, as some business owners allege.

Source: Yelp Founder Says “No Extortion — Just a Misunderstood Algorithm”

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