Yelp Takes Down Review That Sparked Legal Threat

from the weak-sauce dept

Yesterday we had the story of how an 18-month-old Yelp review for Casey Movers in Massachusetts spurred the company to send a legal threat to the author, Kristen Buckley, leading her husband, Phil Buckley to do some research and uncover questionable "positive" reviews of the company, and to call the company out for its legal threat. That story has been getting a lot of attention from a variety of sources, and some have noticed that the original review is gone. Yes, gone. If you go there, you can now see Kristen's followup comment about the legal threat, and Casey Movers' response to the original review -- but not the original review itself.

So what happened? Apparently Yelp took the review down because it violated their policy "because it lacks firsthand experience." The issue is that Kristen admits that the movers were hired by her parents, and the review was on their behalf. Peter notes that Kristen was present when the events happened, so the "lacks firsthand experience" is pretty questionable. That said, the removal seems odd no matter what. The review was up for 18 months and Yelp just took an interest in taking it down in the days after the legal threat went out?

It seems unfortunate in timing -- especially since the reasons for the disappearance of the review are not made public (they were sent via email to Kristen). Anyone reading about this story elsewhere and going to Yelp to see the review are likely to now believe that the original review was taken down due to Casey Movers' complaints about the accuracy of the review, when that doesn't appear to be the case.

Filed Under: policy violation, streisand effect, takedown
Companies: casey movers, yelp

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  1. icon
    redleaf (profile), 19 Nov 2012 @ 9:44am

    The Real Scandal

    Wow how does a company with 4 reviews have 56 filtered reviews? And then when you go to the filtered reviews page it shows that on top of those 56 there's 85 reviews that were removed for violating their policy? That's insane.

    I own a business listed on Yelp. It has 45 reviews, 11 filtered reviews, and 0 removed. It's good to know that a scammy business can game the system on there.

    Also why is the CAPTCHA necessary to see the filtered reviews? Who would set up a bot to scrape those?

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