Yelp Introduces Racism Flagging Feature

by Gary Chapman

gchapman@lc.edu

 

The popular app, Yelp, added a new feature that will flag businesses that are associated with racist behaviors. The app did this in response to a surge of responses by users alleging that a business has racist behaviors.

The app, in their statement on Thursday, stated, “While searches for Black-owned businesses surged on Yelp, so did the volume of reviews warning users of racist behavior at businesses.” 

This comes after a major push to find Black-owned businesses. A Yelp spokesman added that, “Incidents that warrant this escalated alert are extremely rare.”

The first use of the alert was used on New York lawyer Aaron M Schlossberg, who became viral in 2018 for shouting a racist rant in a Manhattan restaurant due to the employees speaking Spanish.  This comes also after the local protests and accusations against Fast Eddies Bon-Air, which started after a massive amount of allegations of racist acts toward people. 

They also said, “For businesses accused of overtly racist actions, where we can link to a news article, we will escalate our warning with the ‘Business Accused of Racist Behavior’ alert.” Ever since the alert was started, Noah Manskar of the New York Post said, “Yelp said it placed more than 450 alerts on business pages that were accused of or targeted by racist behavior between May 26 and Sept. 30.”

VP of User Operations, Noorie Malik, said in the blog post that, “as the nation reckons with issues of systemic racism, we’ve seen in the last few months that there is a clear need to warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious, racially-charged actions to help people make more informed spending decisions.”

In the blog post, they also announced that they are also going to provide a toolkit to small businesses on how to maintain an inclusive environment.

 

Featured image by Lindsey Becker

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