Remove reviews from Yelp.com
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How to remove a review from Yelp.com
Yelp.com has previously acknowledged that 20 percent of the online reviews on its platform might be fake online reviews. Whilst for Yelp.com this may be nothing more than a few statistics, for many business owners who find themselves victims of fake reviews on Yelp.com, removing those fake reviews about their business is often a matter of survival.
Fabricated stories on Yelp.com are often made to sound credible when they are saturated with detailed information about a perceived real experience suffered by the average person whilst shopping at a store or dining at a restaurant. Those detailed online reviews are often posted by professional reviews writers, who are paid to create fake online reviews, which look completely genuine. It has been proven that at least a fifth of the reviews on Yelp.com are fake reviews.
The real number, however is likely to be much higher, perhaps in the region of 40 percent of all Yelp.com online reviews. This is based on our close analysis of hundreds of online reviews, both positive and negative, that have been posted on Yelp.com, apparently by genuine consumers. A close analysis of some of those online reviews would often reveal repetitive trends of style, language and use of vocabulary, that may indicate that the fake reviews have been posted by false consumers, and by companies that specialise in posting fake online reviews that are made to look and appear to be genuine.
Yelp.com have admitted to thousands of fake reviews on its platform. They have admitted that their automated filtering system flags out huge numbers of fake reviews. They say that this proves that their automated filtering system works. However, many independent business owners in the US and a growing number in the UK are convinced that the number of fake reviews flagged by the Yelp.com automated filtering system is only the tip of the iceberg. The admission came only after the publication of a credible research by professors from Harvard Business School (https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/22836596/luca,zervas_fake-it-till-you-make-it.pdf?sequence=1).
Whatever the real number of fake reviews is, if you are a victim and if you want to remove reviews from Yelp.com, the only maths that counts is the maths behind your depleting bank account. Whilst Yelp.com has accepted that there was a widespread problems of fake online reviews on its platform, Yelp.com has been inclined to place the blame for the posting of fake online reviews on business owners whilst ignoring the large amount of posting of fake online reviews by vindicative consumers, former disgruntled employees and competitors. The way to prove who is behind the posting of fake online reviews is by obtaining a disclosure order to compel Yelp.com to disclose the identity of the poster of the fake reviews.
It is possible to remove reviews from Yelp.com. Yelp.com say that if the “computer says no” then there is nothing you can do about a fake review. Yelp.com offer a limited amount of legal advice which states that you should not even bother trying to have the fake reviews removed because this will not be in your best interest. According to Yelp.com, you and your business need to accept the consequences of the reviews, and if you feel that this is not fair, then tough. The fact that most fake online reviews are posted by or on behalf of competitors is neither here nor there. You should treat fake reviews like an act of God, with grace and acceptance.
However, whilst Yelp.com would do what they can to discourage victims of fake reviews from taking legal action against reviewers or indeed against Yelp.com itself, there is some good news for business owners in the UK. The vast majority of matters are resolved on Yelp.com without any litigation, so getting a court order to remove a review from Yelp.com without any opposition is often a straight-forward matter. UK posters of fake online reviews are not protected by the First Amendment because, broadly speaking, the American constitution only protects US citizens.
If your UK based business has become a victim of a fake online reviews on Yelp.com, you might be able to commence legal proceedings in the UK against the reviewer and even win your case unopposed. If you wish to find out the identity of the poster of a defamatory online reviews on Yelp.com, you will, in most cases, be able to obtain a disclosure order in the UK and have it domesticated in California. If you believe that you are a victim of fake online reviews, under UK laws, once you follow certain procedure, Yelp.com must give you the full name and a credible postal address of the poster of the fake review, or immediately remove the fake review from Yelp.com. If they do not comply, they will not have a defence in law for an action for defamation and they will lose in court each time that they refuse to remove an anonymous review. This is the way the reason why most cases are won without opposition.