The Verge: Yelp says it shut down 550 user accounts after discovering a fraudulent review ring

The Verge: Yelp says it shut down 550 user accounts after discovering a fraudulent review ring. “Yelp knows its credibility is only as good as its reviews, so today, it’s releasing its first Consumer Alerts Report, which details incidents in which Yelp’s team intervened to cut off fraudulent reviews or activity. The report shines a light on behavior that one would likely expect happens on a review site — people trying to game the system — but only focuses on successful cases where either Yelp’s human team or software detected abnormal behavior.”

Yelp Testifying in Google Antitrust Hearing: Self-Preferencing by Dominant Internet Platforms (Yelp Blog)

Yelp Blog: Yelp Testifying in Google Antitrust Hearing: Self-Preferencing by Dominant Internet Platforms. “Yelp is testifying before the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust in the hearing titled Self-Preferencing by Dominant Internet Platforms on competition policy and consumer rights related to Google’s self-preferencing in local search results. You can read the full testimony here.”

CNET: For International Women’s Day, Yelp now lets you search for women-owned businesses

CNET: For International Women’s Day, Yelp now lets you search for women-owned businesses. “Yelp added a new feature in honor of International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8. The directory is adding the option to search specifically for businesses owned by women. In a release Thursday, Yelp reported an increased desire for the feature among its users.”

Search Engine Land: Yelp cracks down on ‘review rings’ as Google continues to see widespread mapspam

Search Engine Land: Yelp cracks down on ‘review rings’ as Google continues to see widespread mapspam. “Yelp has almost certainly been the most aggressive of the review platforms to take action against spam and review fraud. The company has historically and controversially tried to prevent any form of review solicitation….Now the company is stepping up efforts to stop ‘review rings,’ which have become something of a cottage industry online.”

TechCrunch: Yelp will let users personalize their homepage and search results

TechCrunch: Yelp will let users personalize their homepage and search results. “In other words, if you’re a vegetarian, or if you’re a parent who’s usually looking for kid-friendly restaurants, you won’t have to reenter that information every time you do a search. Instead, you can enter it once and Yelp will prioritize those results moving forward.”

Gizmodo: Yelp Will Now Show You Restaurant Hygiene Scores

Gizmodo: Yelp Will Now Show You Restaurant Hygiene Scores. “Yelp announced today that the platform will start featuring hygiene scores of restaurants alongside reviews, photos, and other information. As of today, the feature is available in California, Illinois, New York, Texas, and Washington, DC, but Yelp says it intends to roll the initiative out in other states soon. Eventually, hundreds of thousands of U.S. restaurants should have their hygiene scores listed publicly on Yelp.”

BuzzFeed: Yelp, The Red Hen, And How All Tech Platforms Are Now Pawns In The Culture War

BuzzFeed: Yelp, The Red Hen, And How All Tech Platforms Are Now Pawns In The Culture War. “Only a few hours after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ tweeted this weekend that the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, had refused to serve her, negative reviews began flooding the Red Hen’s Yelp page. First came the comments skewering the restaurant for political bias and underwhelming ambiance, and then — because this is the internet — came the user-uploaded images of swastikas. Within 24 hours, the number of reviews tripled from 5,000 to over 15,000, and by Sunday evening, the restaurant’s aggregate star rating had dropped from close to five stars to just two.”