Yelp plans to warn users when an organization has been accused of discriminatory activity on its website , the company revealed in a blog post.
Yelp can use its general public publicity warning when someone affiliated with an organization is accused of or is the victim of racist conduct.
But if a business owner or staff are “resounding proof of egregious, discriminatory actions;” such as using discriminatory symbols or slurs; Yelp will use a “business accused of racist conduct alert;” and refer to a credible news source to provide users more information.
“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,” said Noorie Malik, the company’s Vice President of User Operations.
Under the revised warning system, it is not completely clear what precisely would count as “racist behavior”; but it continues Yelp’s alignment with the Black Lives Matter movement. The business placed in place warnings for public attention; a increase in social movements around the Black Lives Matter movement followed what it said.
Public attention warnings help clients understand that a company might have more than the normal amount of reviews because of increased attention in the media.
The website reports it posted more than 450 public attention warnings on company pages between May 26 and September 30, either suspected of or threatened by discriminatory actions linked to the Black Lives Matter movement.
It also introduced a new tool in June to enable companies on the site to acknowledge themselves as Black-owned. The organization says it saw a 617 percent increase in reviews; mentioning Black-owned businesses between summer 2019 and summer 2020.
And earlier this year, the company issued its first Consumer Alerts report; which showed it shut down 550 accounts associated with a group generating fake reviews; and put more than 300 alerts on pages where the business owners were believed to be encouraging or paying for reviews.