Yelp as Extortionists?
People don't hate me on Yelp,
I still have a 5 star rating.
(except for one 4 star by an asshole who said I needed my ego knocked down a peg)
Listen, Jeremy S. has banned me from Yelp forums before and I've cussed him out for not having a business plan more than once. But we're cool. Extortion? That's kind of pushing it. Sure, their sales people have badgered my former company since 2007 but extortion might be a tad much.
Yelp Inc.'s legal challenges continue to pile up, with a San Francisco business filing the third class-action complaint in recent weeks and nine additional firms joining an earlier lawsuit.
The cases all allege that the popular San Francisco review site extorts companies by manipulating ratings or visibility on the site based on whether or not the businesses pay to advertise. Yelp vehemently denies these charges.
Shit! I bet they're really wishing they hadn't fucked up the Google deal (they'd have some really good lawyers all over this if they hadn't). Kind of like in the case of the Goldman HFT code, Yelp is going to have to expose its top secret algorithm if it wants to defend its honor. Problem is Yelp didn't sell the algorithm in time.
I'll toss one back in a Yelp shot glass and, um, hope they figure this one out? I left forever ago. I used to be one of them so I know how useless the reviews actually are.