New York (The Verge) — Yelp says it shut down 550 user accounts after discovering a fraudulent review ring trib.al/LizPZYC.
Yelp issued its first Consumer Alerts Report in which it details its work around detecting fraudulent reviews, including taking down review rings and closing user accounts.
Overall, Yelp put more than 580 consumer alerts on different business’ pages after picking up on positive reviews coming from the same IP address, and it placed more than 300 alerts on pages where Yelp was tipped that the business owner was purchasing or encouraging reviews. The company says it closed 550 user accounts this year that were associated with just one review ring that focused on creating fraudulent reviews.
In the report, the team also detailed the various reasons fraudulent reviews might be made, including political activism, fandoms acting out, and viral news stories. One-star challenge videos on YouTube, which involve people trying one-star restaurants in their area, also contribute to fake reviews being posted — Ashley Carman/@verge