People blame restaurants and other businesses for COVID-related issues, Yelp report finds

It seems like a lot of people have been venting their COVID-related frustrations on hard-hit restaurants and other small businesses this year.

According to Yelp Trust & Safety Report For 2021, the user-generated local business reviews platform removed more than 15,500 reviews for violating company rules. COVID-19 Content Guidelines.

Yelp implemented its COVID-19 Guidelines in March 2020 “to better protect businesses from damage to their reputation due to pandemic-related circumstances beyond their control.” Under these rules, the company removes user reviews that criticize companies for following mandatory government regulations or taking safety measures, such as requiring masks. Reviews are also removed under this policy if a user claims to have contracted COVID-19 at an establishment or criticizes a business for changing its hours due to the pandemic.

Interestingly, the number of reviews removed from Yelp for violating this policy increased 161% in 2021 compared to 2020, the year the pandemic began. Just as we’ve seen online and on news broadcasts, it seems people are getting more and more testy about basic safety precautions as the pandemic continues and thousands of people are still dying every day in the United States.

In addition to removing violations of these COVID-19 Content Guidelines, Yelp has also proactively deleted reviews who criticized corporate vaccination policies on more than 103,500 business pages.

The report, which was released on Tuesday, says more than 19.6 million reviews were submitted to Yelp in 2021. Not all of those reviews are highlighted by the company’s recommendation algorithm, however. and over a million have been removed by Yelp or users themselves. .

In addition to pandemic-related reviews, Yelp took action on more than 25,200 reviews due to “threats, obscenity, hate speech or other potentially harmful content” last year.

Yelp isn’t the only online review platform to have changed its rules to account for undeserved negative reviews due to COVID-19. In a post published On Wednesday, Google explained how the company removed reviews from Google Maps if the user criticized a company over safety measures and vaccination mandates.

Comments are closed.