Looking back on 2021
Prioritizing trust is about making significant investments to maintain the integrity and quality of content on our platform. Our Trust & Safety Report provides a comprehensive overview of the steps we took to safeguard the community and level the playing field for all businesses by surfacing the most reliable and useful content on Yelp.
Protecting businesses from unfair reviews related to the pandemic
In 2021, Yelp removed 15,500+ reviews for violating our COVID-19 content guidelines, which protect businesses from reputational harm due to pandemic-related circumstances beyond their control.
Our User Operations team also proactively removed 150 reviews across 103,500+ business pages with a vaccination policy attribute, primarily for criticizing the business’s vaccine policies.
Eliminating threats, hate speech and discriminatory content
Yelp’s User Operations team removed 25,200+ reviews for threats, lewdness, hate speech, or other potentially harmful content in 2021.
In addition, as a part of our broader Consumer Alerts program, we placed 420+ Unusual Activity Alerts or Public Attention Alerts on business pages, to inform consumers when a business has seen an influx of activity for either being accused of, or the target of, racist or discriminatory behavior, resulting in the removal of 29,300+ reviews.
Alerting our community of attempts to mislead them
We publish Consumer Alerts on business pages to warn users when we find evidence of extreme attempts to manipulate a business’s ratings and reviews. In 2021, we published 1,850+ alerts.
The most common alert we published was our Media Attention Alerts, which resulted in the removal of 70,200+ reviews. We place these alerts when a business, after gaining public attention, receives an influx of Yelp reviews that do not reflect first-hand experiences.
Pushing back on legal demands for consumers’ information
Legal demands can be used to silence consumers, which is why Yelp often objects to them when they seek personal user account information. About 84% of legal demands we received in 2021 resulted in no production of personal user account information, keeping personal information associated with 1,354 user accounts from private parties, government agencies, and law enforcement.
Investing in technology to recommend the most helpful and reliable reviews
In 2021, more than 19.6 million reviews were contributed to Yelp. About 22% of these reviews were not recommended by our automated recommendation software, which is designed to find and weed out reviews that are conflicts of interest, fake, solicited, low quality or otherwise less reliable. Another 6% of those reviews were separately removed for violating Yelp’s policies or by reviewers themselves.