Sep 24, 2013

NY Finally Cracking Down on Fake Reviews.

Remember a while back when I posted this rant about the way Yelp filters it's reviews, then tries to extort businesses to make their reviews look better?  

Yelp's Review Filter

There was mention of Yelp's review filter on the news because some lady got sued for $750K.  I'd never heard of this filter in my time as a pretty regular yelper so I looked at my friends business page and saw that it was being rated on 3 reviews. Two of them were five star and one of them was a two star, bad review.  I could have sworn he had more reviews because he'd mentioned to me a while back that business was doing good and his yelp page was blowing up with good reviews from his customers. When I looked today it said rating based on 3 reviews.... read more

Or when I wrote this about companies like saying they can get rid of the "malicous" reviews for your business?
I've been hearing radio commercials for a service called
They say they restore your online reputation by removing negative reviews about you or your business. They don't say negative i think they say fake or damaging but how can they tell what is a lie vs someone who was telling the truth about your shitty business? Seems like an easy way to buy your way out of having the dirty truth told about you. This pretty much renders sites like yelp useless. IMO, writing bad reviews when you have bad service is your constitutional right to protest.

Well now I just read on NPR that New York in particular is finally cracking down on this bullshit.
No doubt most of you reading this post have looked at Yelp or Google+ Local to check the user reviews before you tried that fish store, bakery or even dentist. On occasion, you may have wondered if some of those reviews were too good to be true.
It turns out that some of them were.
New York's attorney general revealed the results of a yearlong investigation into the business of fake reviews. Eric T. Schneiderman announced Monday that 19 companies that engaged in the practice will stop and pay fines between $2,500 and $100,000, for a total of more than $350,000 in penalties. ... In many cases, the agent was told that they would write fake positive reviews for a fee. read the full article

Meanwhile, despite the fact that Yelp says it welcomes the New York attorney general's crackdown on fake reviewers, it's still filtering out all the good reviews from your real customers because they signed up for Yelp just to give you a good review.  And who's to say these companies arent writing fake BAD reviews just to get you to use their services?  We already know that they have no problem writing fake reviews. 

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