High Tech Extortion

Posted by admin | Uncategorized | Thursday 25 February 2010 11:39 pm

The popular business-review site called Yelp! is apparently facing a hailstorm of criticism, as well as a class-action lawsuit, because of their dubious ethics in businesses practices. A scathing expose showed last year that Yelp! was created negative reviews on their website in order to extort money out of the businesses in contention. This practice has resulted in a class-action lawsuit against the company.

In an in-depth article that appeared in East Bay Express last year, business owners said that Yelp sales agents would contact them whenever negative reviews appeared for their business. Representatives allegedly would offer to remove or hide the reviews in exchange for agreeing to buy an advertising contract with the site.

The whole issue smacks of corporate extortion and I hope Yelp! gets prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for conjuring up negative reviews on their own site. However, it is important to remember that there is a legitimate need for online reputation management services–because online libel really does occur, both on sites like Yelp! and on blogs, forums, and through the creation of independent websites.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/02/yelp-facing-class-action-suit-over-extortive-ad-sales.ars

Internet Reputation Management is the practice of shaping a company or person's search results. Reputation Hawk has provided this service since 2007.

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