Fuck You! Yelper: A Tumblr Blog Takes Yelp to Task
I use Yelp a lot. Whenever someone offers a restaurant recommendation I pull out my iPhone and use their app to log a bookmark. When I'm in a new hood and I'm hungry I use the same app to look at what's within walking distance. I page through the reviews when making decisions, but I take most things I read with a grain of salt. I think a careful reader can tell the difference between a power poster that likes to log as many reviews as possible and a thoughtful user who has something valuable to say.
Fuck You Yelper does the exact opposite. The anonymous author culls Yelp looking for reviews thought to be particularly biased, inflammatory or small minded. According to a manifesto the site intends to point out that many reviews don't make any sense at all.
The problem is some people just don't really give a shit. They don't care that somebody owns a business that they pour their heart/soul into, and just how much it costs to run a business.
Instead what they care about is that somebody gave them a funny look while they were waiting in line and that Rebecca Black's Friday was playing on the radio. One-star.
They go to a bar order a beer they've never tried and don't like it. One-star. Well, the bartender was cute though ... two-stars.
Here are some other highlights.
It would seem the Yelper who lost their car has a legitimate complaint. But then again, what if there was a sign that clearly stated the spot they parked in was not available? What if they parked in front of a fire hydrant? The second example says everything but one dish was good, yet only awards a single star. I wonder how much thought went into that post. Glowing reviews can be just as suspect. Who's to say that five-star rating is a discerning diner? It could just as easily be the chef's mother.
Yelp's iPhone application and reviews taken in the aggregate are too useful to dismiss completely, but extracting useful information from the site can be a chore.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.