Yelp to Label Businesses Accused of Racism

Yelp to Label Businesses Accused of Racism

In a bizarre turn of events, Yelp announced on Twitter that they will soon be labeling businesses that are ACCUSED of racist behavior.

On Yelp’s website, they give more details about the new policy.

At Yelp, we value diversity, inclusion and belonging, both internally and on our platform, which means we have a zero tolerance policy to racism….Communities have always turned to Yelp in reaction to current events at the local level. 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….Now, when a business gains public attention for reports of racist conduct, such as using racist language or symbols, Yelp will place a new Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert on their Yelp page to inform users, along with a link to a news article where they can learn more about the incident.

As you can imagine, the response to this idea on Twitter was extraordinarily negative.

In a world where accusations of racism are casually tossed around for any and every reason under the sun, this is obviously a terrible idea. It also does seem possible that it could lead to legal consequences for Yelp given what happened to Oberlin College. After false allegations against Gibson’s Bakery by their students, Oberlin College went along with labeling the business as racist. As a result, the college lost a lawsuit and is currently appealing a 25 million dollar libel verdict.

Could the same thing happen to Yelp? If they go through with this, let’s hope so!

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