Yelp unveils a tool to avoid businesses accused of racism - 3 minutes read

On Thursday, Yelp announced that businesses accused of racist behavior will have a new consumer alert placed distinctly on their pages.

The alert, called the "Business Accused of Racist Behavior" alert, will appear on a business' page if it has received public attention because of "reports of egregious, racist conduct," along with a link to a news article for Yelp users to learn more about the incident, according to Yelp.

The update expands on an existing feature, the "Public Attention Alert," which informs users if a business might have seen an uptick in reviews because of media coverage about racist behavior affiliated with the business.

If a business is accused of "overtly racist actions," which could include "using racist language or symbols," it will get the "Business Accused of Racist Behavior" alert instead, according to a statement from the company. (If someone associated with a business is either a target or perpetrator of racist behavior, the other "Public Attention Alert" is placed on its page.)

The "Business Accused of Racist Behavior" alert will only be put in place when Yelp can link to a news article about the incident. From there, users can make their own decisions about whether or not they will be a patron of the business.

The update was conceived in response to trends observed by Yelp during the Black Lives Matter protests that spread across the country (and world) this summer, according to the statement.

This summer, Yelp unveiled efforts to amplify Black-owned businesses, and Yelp reviews mentioning Black-owned businesses were up 617% compared to the summer before.

Yet Noorie Malik, the vice president of user operations at Yelp, pointed out in the statement that "while searches for Black-owned businesses surged on Yelp, so did the volume of reviews warning users of racist behavior at businesses."

Between May and June 2020, Yelp's user operations team reported a 277% increase of alerts for review influxes based on media reports. The "Public Attention Alert" was meant to address that, while Thursday's "Business Accused of Racist Behavior" alert expands on that by providing users with further context around a business' practices, if needed.

If a business got an influx of reviews because of media attention, Yelp already had a system in place to temporarily disable reviews from being posted. Eater reports that the "Business Accused of Racist Behavior" alert will also result in the temporary disabling of reviews.

Image: yelp

In addition to the alert, Yelp has also partnered with Open to All, a public engagement campaign that stresses the importance of anti-discrimination laws, to provide a toolkit around inclusivity for local businesses that might not have the same resources as large companies with respect to training materials.

An "Open to All" feature was first launched in 2018 for businesses to convey they're safe and welcoming spaces for everyone, regardless of "ethnicity, race, sex, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression," according to Yelp.

Now, businesses that activate the "Open to All" feature will also get a toolkit of inclusivity resources, including an hour-long "unlearning bias" training video, social media assets, and other templates for outreach to customers and employees.

"Increasingly, consumers across the U.S. are voting with their dollars by supporting businesses that align with their values," Malik said. "As always, we continue to evaluate how we can best use our platform to build a better, more equitable and inclusive environment where consumers and businesses can interact safely and fully informed."

Source: Mashable

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nresearch38 commented on Yelp unveils a tool to avoid businesses accused of racism over 3 years ago

Very nice content