Yelp Changes Review Filtering, Tries to be More Transparent

Yelp, a web-based service that lets consumers review or browse reviews of local businesses, is making feature changes to fight claims of manipulated reviews. These changes fall on the heels of a class-action lawsuit based on claims that some Yelp representatives coerced business owners to advertise by manipulating the ordering and thus visibility of negative reviews. Some business owners have even claimed that Yelp even hired people to write negative reviews in the first place.

According to a post on the official Yelp weblog by CEO Jeremy Stoppleman, the service is making two key changes, in order to be more transparent. First, they’re adding the ability to see filtered reviews — meaning that questionable reviews can now be viewed. Second, they’re removing the “Favorite Review” feature from advertising packages. Stoppleman explains the changes: