Saturday, May 25, 2013

How a Fake Restaurant Review on Yelp Backfired

W. Blake Gray is a food writer for the SFWeekly. He was informed about a review of Tuba restaurant on Yelp, written by a Maya C. In her review, she claims to be working for the SF.

She wrote: “This place totally rocks! The food blows your mind away. I also write for SF weekly and I definitely am writing about them this week."

But there is one major problem - she never wrote for SF! As the food editor stated, he knows all the writers and what they are and aren't assigned to do. However, he never heard of “Maya C.”!

Blake Gray set out to correct the “mistake” – easier said than done. Yelp isn't easy to deal with, as he found out to his readers’ amusement.

He started by sending Ms. Fakester a message:

"I am the food editor at SF Weekly. Who are you? We don't have a Maya C. working for us right now. Please explain why you cite us in your review of Tuba."

Maya C, sent the following response (to avoid legal action?):

"sf weekly voice, I will fix it. I am very very sorry to cite your name, I haven't checked my reviews since

Needless to say, she never did. Yelp also took the moral low ground:

SF Weekly is obviously worried about its credibility, while Yelp could not care less.

In the mean time, just ignore the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! fake review of Tuba - it’s as real as a three dollar note. If you still want to go to Tuba, I have a bridge I want to sell you…..

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