Customer review sites are a great way to find out about the best restaurants and businesses in your area. Most of these sites are pretty good at filtering out fake comments, but it turns out one of the most popular sites out there may have left fake negative comments up on purpose.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of Yelp shareholders claims the company left fake comments up so that it could sell services to businesses that are made to get rid of those same comments. The lawsuit says Yelp did this to inflate its stock price. Some shareholders then bought this stock after executives sold theirs for around $90 a share.
Specifically, [Yelp shareholder Joseph] Curry claims that Yelp used press releases and financial statements to tout its quality “first hand reviews” as well as its algorithms that screened out unreliable postings ...
The allegations are not proven yet and the lawsuit doesn't provide any evidence. It just points to complaints received by news outlets and the Federal Trade Commission.
I'll be keeping an eye on this situation to see what kind of information comes out from this lawsuit. Until we know if the charges are true, remember to take those reviews with a grain of salt and check multiple review sites before making your final decisions.