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
    sunk818 (profile), 19 Nov 2012 @ 8:21pm

    Yelp has been accused of and found guilty of taking bribes from paying businesses to have reviews removed. This was documented a few years back, but I see they are still up the same business practices. Back then, it was complete removal of the review without communication to you... then Yelp copped to it, and said they would bury your review requiring a "second" click to see it... Now, they are outright untrustworthy.

    I got food poisoning on my honeymoon at I'O restaurant in Maui Hawaii. I ordered the trio meat plate. I ate the whole lamb, but my wife tried everything else. I got food poisoning for 1 day. I Yelped about their lack of safe cooking standards, I even posted my chargeback attempt with them on my AmEx. Both my review and later scanned picture of the chargeback letter were both removed.

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