Any small business is making extra effort to stay afloat and avoid bankruptcy. Given the struggling economy, these businesses need the support for a steady development.

Yelp and a number more websites are hijacking small business listings and removing their rights. While claiming they offer reliable services to customers, in reality, they are manipulating the list by sensationalizing bad reviews through distorting the business’ reputation and its ratings.

Furthermore, Yelp is putting loads of pressure to businesses by pushing them to pay for advertising.

  • If there is a complain about a fake review posted on the owner’s page, Yelp deletes/hides the positive comments until the owner agrees to pay a monthly advertising fee.
  • Yelp and other companies communicate with business owners to use advertising for improved listing, yet if the owner refuses, they evidently manipulate the ratings and how they are displayed online. Certain negative reviews are chosen and displayed more visibly than the positive ones until again, the owner agrees to pay the advertising fee.
  • Another manipulation is putting dishonest consumers to threaten and ruin the reputation of a business if they do not give in to unreasonable demands, which sometimes are supposedly free product or service. These threats include demanding for freebies or receive fake reviews that will affect the business. However, if the affected business brings up the issue on Yelp, they only response with a, “but that is the customer’s personal experience,” when in fact it’s not.

This act of exaction must be put to an end. Please sign the petition at so that legislation can be passed to give right to businesses in making decisions for their business without the hindrance of manipulation and distortion. These small businesses deserve the right to choose where and who to do business with, the right remove their listings anytime without repercussions, and to remove business from yelp. Small businesses play a huge role in creating a healthy economy. They need justice in all aspects and support through this petition.