I was Abu J on Phoenix Yelp until the local community manager closed my account. I had 593 reviews, of which 300 were five star and only 65 were one star.
The one stars deserved their ratings far more than the five stars, I assure you.
I regularly got threats from other yelpers, but only once from a restaurant owner, who later lost his restaurant in a suspicious fire. Go figure.
I agree about recommendations instead of reviews, but if you omit all the negative reviews you would have a lot less reliability. There are many places that are beloved of the typical yelper, but which might not appeal to a reader. A few negative reviews can make a the overall rating more reliable.
And the "magic formula" to avoid a lawsuit...just liberally use the phrases "In my opinion" and "I believe" and end by saying something like "others may differ but this is my personal opinion."
I wrote over 593 popular reviews and earned 10,900 compliments and 24000 Useful, funny and cool votes. I had 139 First To Review. I Got Review of the Day on November 11 2009.
But all my reiews, compliments votes and even my ROTD were deleted without warning. In part because I was unfairly accused of something that never happened, and in part because the community manager and her real life friends didnt like my name: Abu Jihad.
Yelp users should care because they want yelp to be reliable and because you dont want your reviews to disappear as mine did.
The elite system and the ROTD system is corrupted by the community managers incompetence. There is no incentive for anyone still on Yelp to point this out, as being elite is a good deal...free food and drink at least monthly, and the favored few make up the bulk of elite. But the facts remain: There are numerous elite yelpers who dont qualify. There are numerous elite yelpers who have written only a few dozen reviews over years of elite status. And there are numerous elite yelpers who write like children. But Yelp closed MY account.
The ROTD process in Phoenix is corrupt--its mostly a few elite friends over and over. Yes, I got one for George and Dragon out of my 593 reviews and I was very pleased and grateful-but its gone now. On the other hand, the brother of a local Community Manager has three ROTD out of 20 some reviews. Is that fair? Is that ethical? No. And dont start with the algorithm nonsense. There is no algorithm.
Finally, about my reviews. I had 593 reviews up. Of those I had 139 FTRs (none for events), 15 reviews over 100 UFC votes each, and two reviews over 150 UFCs (Macayo and my ROTD). My reviews were the most UFCd for almost every establishment I reviewed, and not only in Phoenix. I wasnt elite, and it wasnt because I didnt have a pic (I did). Its because I am Abu Jihad and peoplejust didnt like it. Nobody can gainsay that.
Its sickening to have all your reviews deleted without a TOS violation. Without a warning. With no recourse. Its probably more sickening for you to be writing with the prospect of your reviews being taken down. At least I know what yelp can do to me.
I have never yelped under another profile before Abu J (my real name) and I wont yelp with any other profiles. I am a real person. I wanted to make a contribution, and many people---at least 85 fans and 600 plus friends--thought I did. Others, well, others differed.
I had a lot of fun. Now its over.
If youre after getting the honey then you dont go killing all the bees, like Joe Strummer says.
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