Waves of panic rippled through the business community after Yelp announced a new consumer alert tag that allows users to flag any business as racist.
What could go wrong?
Yelp announced Wednesday that it was taking a "stand against racism" by placing a warning tag on any business that receives multiple consumer comments accusing even one employee of a racist act.
"Today, we're announcing a new consumer alert to stand against racism," the company tweeted. "In the last few months, we've seen 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."
Today, we’re announcing a new consumer alert to stand against racism. In the last few months, we’ve seen 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 (@Yelp) October 8, 2020
The complaints can consist of "racist language or symbols" that bring attention to "racist conduct" committed by any single employee or multiple employees of a business.
The racism consumer alert tag is a white exclamation point on a red background.
Yelp will place the tag on any business accused of racism -- even if that business is owned by a minority who employs non-minorities.
The page will be locked and consumers will be unable to leave a comment - negative or positive - until Yelp concludes its "investigation" into the complaints.
Any business hit with a racism alert tag is sure to attract press attention. Yelp will facilitate the further destruction of that business by linking to any press article that covers the alleged racist act.
Twitter reacted to the announcement on Wednesday.
"I'm concerned about declaring a business racist from on-high...," tweeted one user. "What if a Yelp employee has a bias or grudge?"
Another user wrote, "Yelp. Another entity I will block and ban. Its a useless app anyways."
And a third user tweeted: "and here i was thinking your service couldn't get any worse."
Are you going to alert consumers about businesses like NIKE? Who have slaves making their items...
— samanthamarika (@samanthamarika1) October 9, 2020
I am canceling all advertising with @yelp tomorrow morning.
— cbt20 (@cbt1234567) October 9, 2020
Aaannnnd... Im done with @yelp. Good luck this this stunt.
— Kris Williams (@KrisWilliams) October 9, 2020
Deleting YELP I’m done with wokeism. If we all do & stop using they’ll realize we the people are sick of being manipulated. For those that think this is great idea just imagine how this can be weaponized to get back at someone by a disgruntled worker not to mention competitor
— @PaxNos7 (@paxnos7) October 9, 2020
Uninstalled your app ... allowing customers to target businesses with racial overtones? You’ll just hurt small business by empowering cancel culture. Poor decision.
— ??The FOO?? (@PolitiBunny) October 9, 2020
Enjoy those litigation costs.
— John D ? (@RedWingGrips) October 9, 2020
No way this could go wrong. ?
— Jonah Halper (@JonahHalper) October 9, 2020