Yelp monitoring reviews for backlash after allowing businesses to add vaccination requirements

Business

BERLIN, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 27: The Logo of Yelp is displayed on a smartphone on November 27, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Businesses and restaurants across the country are doing whatever they can to stay open while keeping customers safe.

Kansas City’s Hamburger Mary’s, Woody’s KC, recordBar, and KC Improv have decided the best way to do that is to require customers and staff to be fully vaccinated.

Now businesses can include any requirement, along with additional safety measures underway, on Yelp listings. According to Yelp’s blog, it allows businesses to add information such as “proof of vaccination required” or “all staff fully vaccinated” on their individual pages.

But the options are also causing a lot of backlash against some businesses for their requirements, according to Yelp.

The company said it has already removed nearly 8,000 reviews in 2021 for violating its special COVID Content Guidelines. That includes what it calls “review bombing.” Review bombing happens when a large number of negative online reviews are made against one business. A large number of people, or a small number of people with multiple accounts, can be responsible for leaving the reviews.

Yelp said it is putting protective measures in place to protect businesses from any reviews that specifically criticize the COVID health and safety measures enforced by each business. The platform is also watching for any hateful or other harmful content left that target businesses over their protocols.

This is not the first time Yelp has taken steps like these to help.

The company said it put the same type of measures in place when it added attributes like “black-owned,” “Asian-owned,” and “LGBTQ-owned” to the options businesses could list on their pages.

Both consumers and businesses can report reviews by following these steps. Yelp says it investigates each flagged review.

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