Yelp Controversy: Good or Bad for Social Media?

The review website, Yelp, has been in the news lately.  A contractor in Washington D.C. has filed a suit against a woman in the area for defamation after she gave him a poor review.  She posted on Yelp that he damaged her house, and gave him a one-star rating on the site and he is demanding $750,000 in damages.  So the real question here is, will other social media sites run into the same consumer problems as Yelp?

Social Media websites are popping up all over the internet left and right, and it seems as if a lot of the users on these sites are pretty barbaric.  It makes you wonder how these stories, similar to Yelp, have not popped up as well.  Even though stories like this one are not headlined on national news, they are still there.  Will this problem reflect negatively on the sites where it comes up a lot? YouTube is known for having users comment drastic things and trash talk on the videos, but if anything, YouTube has gotten more publicity because people want to know what other people are saying.

The Yelp incident is unique because it is a credible source with users that review businesses in a very mature, and informative manner.  Regardless of the law suit, people will look at the reviews on Yelp and trust that reviewer.  Social media will not be starting its decline just because some people have a problem with how they were portrayed.  With the explosiveness of the internet, it is safe to say that everything that is posted on the internet will be judged in one way or another.  That is a world that people have chosen to live in, and we expect it with anything we put on the internet.



  1. Whenever I see a review on Yelp that seems to be extremely harsh I always do a quick glance at the reviewers stats. If there’s more negatives I take that into consideration. I feel like it’s more of a indication that society is lawsuit happy. Social media seems to be just the latest conductor for frivolous suits.

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