Yelp flagging businesses accused of racism on its review platform
Businesses accused of exhibiting racist behavior are now being flagged on Yelp.
The crowdsourced review website is launching an alert that calls out businesses that have been accused of discriminating against customers or employees and exhibiting racist behavior, the company announced Thursday.
Yelp created a new red icon that will appear on a business’ page, the company said in a blog post. The platform will also suspend users from posting on their pages if they are being investigated for discriminatory behavior.
“As the nation reckons with issues of systemic racism, we’ve seen in the last few months that there is a clear need to warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious, racially-charged actions to help people make more informed spending decisions,” Yelp said in the blog post.
“Now, when a business gains public attention for reports of racist conduct, such as using racist language or symbols, Yelp will place a new Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert on their Yelp page to inform users, along with a link to a news article where they can learn more about the incident,” the company continued.
Consumers have been increasingly using the platform to sound off on racial injustices observed at restaurants and other public businesses reviewed on the website amid the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement following the death of George Floyd and Breanna Taylor.
Yelp says the effort is meant to hold business owners accountable for their conduct and make consumers feel safe.
“We know consumers are increasingly conscious of the types of businesses they patronize and support, so to better inform our community, today we launched a new Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert,” a spokesperson for Yelp said in a statement.
Yelp partnered with Open to All, a national nondiscrimination campaign, to create a tool kit that helps small businesses create a more inclusive workplace for employees and customers. It features an hour-long bias training video for employees.
Yelp said that consumers are increasingly looking for diverse businesses to support. Reviews mentioning Black-owned businesses were up more than 617% this summer when compared to last summer, Yelp data shows. What’s more, support for women-owned businesses has also increased, with review mentions up 114% for the same time period, the company said.