Newswire: Yelp gets a zero-star review in new documentary

In what must come as welcome news to the dentist who shot Cecil the lion, embattled rival Angie’s List, and rude waitstaff everywhere, a new documentary is alleging that crowdsourcing-review site Yelp engages in mafia-like practices. Billion Dollar Bully is being produced by Hollywood PR veteran Michael Levine, and levels accusations that Yelp is actively extorting business owners by threatening their reputations.

Specifically, the claims allege that Yelp is contacting owners and inquiring if they want help “managing” their online reputations. As the trailer reveals, individuals assert that almost immediately after declining the service, they discovered existing relevant positive reviews had disappeared, and new negative reviews emerged. These claims are presented in conjunction with statements made by Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppleman confirming there are Yelp employees composing reviews. The trailer suggests that employee-authored reviews and unstable review profiles are occurring via the “filtered reviews” section of Yelp, which is …

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