Q:

What can a business do about a bogus Yelp review?

A:

Quick Answer

Yelp allows business owners and community users to report content that violates its community guidelines. This includes reviews that have been paid for by competitors and reviews that intentionally misrepresent the reviewer or the business in question.

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Full Answer

Before anything goes too far, it is recommended that business owners reach out to reviewers privately to find out the reason for a negative review. Many legitimate reviews offer a negative impression of a business. As a community directed resource, Yelp does not take sides when it comes to reviewer opinions or factual representations of businesses. The administrators advocate the free expression of personal experiences. However, their guidelines also acknowledge the potential for abuse and include warnings against paid reviews, conflicts of interest, grossly inappropriate content and illegal activity. In this case, illegal activity can include breaches of privacy or intellectual property laws.

Intentionally defamatory or false reviews can also damage a business and impact its profitability. As such, legal actions are possible outside of Yelp's reporting policies. With the help of a lawyer, a court order can be obtained that can be used to compel Yelp's moderator team to remove the review in question. Yelp would be held in contempt of court for refusing and would face legal action by the court as a result.

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