Yelp under fire in lawsuits

Review site sued by businesses that claim it gives false positive reviews in exchange for ad money

Published March 19, 2010 5:28PM (EDT)

THE ALLEGATIONS: Since late February, at least three lawsuits seeking class-action status have been filed against Yelp, a site that asks people to review businesses. The cases claim that reviews on Yelp are manipulated, depending on which companies pay to advertise on the site and which don't.

WHAT YELP SAYS: Yelp denies the claims. It says reviews can come and go from a business' listing on the site because it uses an automated program to weigh reviews and filter out ones that seem untrustworthy.

WHAT IT COULD MEAN: If the cases stick or are followed by more, they could taint Yelp's reputation as a leader in online reviews.

By The Associated Press

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