I encourage that if you want to leave reviews for businesses you use something other than Yelp. Yelp borderline harasses business owners with unending sales calls, doesn’t offer good ways for owners to address crazy reviews, and in my mind discourages community. They say if you’re friends with the owner or employees not to review a business. When a person lives in a small community and supports a small community, said community becomes friends and tight-knit. If a review can’t be trusted based on human interaction, I’ll pass on that system.

I’m not saying this after having received a bad review. Nope, I’ve only had good ones. I’ve only had one review on Yelp period. I’ve had tons on other industry websites, and all have been great! My single Yelp review was from a friend that I photograph every year in a business transaction. I’m an adult and am able to handle criticism even from friends, but Yelp seems to think most people will harshly bias and can’t handle being authentic in their reviews. Or maybe business owners can’t be authentic in their responses.

It may be a stretch, but I feel like they’re the TSA of review sites. Remove all the free speech in case it’s not completely up to scrupulous snuff. I know I just did the big ugly fallacy thing where I compare something to Nazi Germany, but for a company that shows up to every crafty local event with bags and stickers and photobooths spreading their schwag seeds, I’d expect a little more of an organic, authentic approach to both the reviewing community and the folks being reviewed.

I don’t know if it’s better to use the goliath big brother Google for reviews or not, but at least there I don’t get discouraged from the start of the whole process.

Yelp, encourage honesty and objectivity from all parties instead of discouraging people from the get-go and punishing owners for having friends that are also customers.

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