Yelp: how to report an inappropriate online review

When it comes to online reviews, Yelp has a certain way of doing things. From filtering reviews to removing those considered inappropriate, business owners must understand how the system works. It’s important to understand that Yelp isn’t going to flag a review as inappropriate just because somebody said something negative about your business.

With that in mind, there are times when you may need to report a review as inappropriate.Here are three key questions to address:

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1. Can you report a review if you don’t believe it was posted by a real customer?

While the short answer is yes, there is more to this situation than meets the eye. Yelp doesn’t permit people to post online reviews if they didn’t have a real experience with the business.

However, moderators only remove online reviews when the Yelper declines to describe a common consumer experience, such as buying a product or contacting the business with a question. Yelp makes it clear that you need more evidence than a basic belief that the reviewer was not a real customer. See the Personal Experience section within Yelp’s Review Guidelines for further detail.

2. What are your options if an online review contains false information?

Reviewers have the responsibility to share accurate and honest information regarding their experience with a business, both positive and negative. For this reason, Yelpers are not permitted to provide false information or draw conclusions based on a single experience. See the Accuracy section within Yelp’s Review Guidelines for additional information.

3. What happens if a review uses inappropriate language?

Generally speaking, Yelp provides plenty of leeway, as users are permitted to use “colorful language.” However, the company does not stand for hateful or threatening comments. Because there is so much gray area in regards to what is and is not inappropriate language, Yelp isn’t overly aggressive in policing the words people use, as long as it pertains to their experience.

As one of the largest online review sites, Yelp is visited – and relied upon – by millions of consumers every month. As a business owner, you have the right to report reviews that you consider inappropriate. Get started by visiting this page.

Whether they are positive or negative, we strongly recommend that you reply to your reviews. If the review is negative and does not fit Yelp’s criteria for removal, see our tips on how to respond.

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