If you’re browsing through Yelp reviews, you might come across a new consumer alert, warning you that a business has been “accused of racist behavior.”
“Recently, someone associated with this business was accused of racist behavior, resulting in an influx of people posting their views to this page,” the warning says.
There has been a substantial increase in the number of reviews mentioning Black-owned businesses, Yelp said in a news release Thursday. This summer, Yelp saw a 617% rise in such reviews compared with last year.
“While searches for Black-owned businesses surged on Yelp, so did the volume of reviews warning users of racist behavior at businesses,” the company said.
In the interest of the company’s “zero tolerance policy to racism,” it will now place a consumer alert on a business’s page “to caution people about businesses that may be associated with overtly racist actions.”
Yelp already placed warnings called “Public Attention Alerts” on business pages that got reviews accusing them of racism based on news reports or social media.
The number of reviews based on news reports has increased 133% in 2020. Yelp placed more than 450 Public Attention Alerts on pages “that were either accused of, or the target of, racist behavior related to the Black Lives Matter movement.”
“Now, when a business gains public attention for reports of racist conduct, such as using racist language or symbols, Yelp will place a new Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert on their Yelp page to inform users, along with a link to a news article where they can learn more about the incident,” Yelp said.
When an alert is placed on a
NEW YORK, NY — New Yorkers can now download a free app to their smartphones that will alert them if they come near people who test positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday the launch of the state’s new COVID Alert NY app. New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware will offer their own versions of the app, as well. The app uses the phones existing Bluetooth technology to alert the user when they come within close contact of an infected person, defined as 6 feet.
The app talks to other people’s apps. When someone reports to the Department of Health that they are infected, contact tracers will ask if they have the app and are willing to share their “contact” list, which is automatically generated by being within 6 feet of someone for more than 10 minutes and who also activated the app. A representative will call people on that contact list.
Officials on Thursday did their best to address potential privacy concerns, noting the app does not collect users’ personal data such as name or address. It also does not use GPS tracking. The app keeps users anonymous and was billed as a new tool to supplement contact tracing efforts.
“It’s really creative and smart and I think it can make a big difference,” Cuomo said. He later added: “Testing is only as good as contact tracing.”
The state has about 19 million people and just 15,000 contact tracers, or “disease detectives,” as Cuomo called them. The state is also currently targeting 20 “hot spot” zip codes in the Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island. So you can isolate/quarantine that person and find connections.
“We’ve been looking for a technology-based solution,”