Yelp removing reviews

Walter Palmer, the dentist who killed a well-loved, 13-year-old lion in Zimbabwe after it was lured out of its protected reserve, is being slammed on Yelp. When I first looked, there were over 1,700 ‘reviews’ pillorying him. A few minutes ago there were 602. As I type this, there are 174 and falling. Before he was outed as a poacher – well, this time; forget his 2008 conviction – his practice had four reviews. Yelp has been deleting the posts.

The purpose of Yelp is to help consumers research businesses. I’d like to know if the food stinks before I go to a restaurant, and to know what kind of treatment my pets can expect from a veterinarian. It’s not the place to attack people in support of a ‘cause’. In this respect, Yelp is going their users a service by getting rid of posts that do not comment on the quality of his practice.


I think that a person’s character is something I’d like to know about before I use his services. I’d like to know not only whether what the proprietor is selling is good, whether his employees are quick and courteous, and so forth; I’d like to know if I’m supporting a racist or bigot or Tea Party member, or if I’m supporting someone who uses his vacations to do missionary work in some poverty-ridden hell-hole. I’m personally against trophy hunting. If I were looking for a dentist, I would like to know whether someone gets his jollies by killing things for no reasonable reason.

In that respect, I think that Yelp is doing a disservice to consumers by not allowing them to see the character of the proprietor.

What do you think?

(They’re back up to 473 posts.)

ETA: I see the typo in the title. I’ll ask a mod to fix it.


One of Yelp’s requirements is that you must have had an actual customer experience to post a review, so by that token they are justified in removing these. See here.

My personal opinion is that Yelp reviews are already too swayed by people’s random whims or personal pet peeves, so allowing stuff like this wouldn’t make them any less useful than they already are.

If those people haven’t actually had dental services from the man, then I have no problem with Yelp deleting the reviews.

That said, Yelp is less than worthless, attracting nothing but reviews by perpetually disgruntled assholes, and made profitable via extortion.

And the poaching trophy hunter shouldn’t be losing his livelyhood because of an Internet backlash barrage, he should be losing it by rotting in a Zimbabwean prison hole for ten years (presuming he is as guilty as he appears).

Honestly. I usually read restaurant reviews before going, and people say the dumbest things. For an Argentinian steak house: one star because they don’t have a vegan menu. :rolleyes: What part of “Argentinian” and “Steak House” didn’t you understand?

The vegan part.

Please don’t hit me.

You know how you can tell who’s a vegan?

Don’t worry, they’ll fucking tell you.

QFT. But the Twitterverse has shut down his practice web page, and totally shut down his phone lines as well. The local news is well aware of this asshole and he is going to get nothing but grief for the predictable future.

Why he needs to die in an African prison? Check out the pinned photo on his Twitter page: @RiverBlufDental.

I’m not sure which picture you meant, but WTF is up with some of their tweets today??

A few “sorry” tweets. OK, that’s a good start.

“RT if you forgive Dr. Palmer.” Well, it might be a little early to be pleading for sympathy, but I can see why you might hope for a little support.

And then, “Hakuna Matata” with a picture from the Lion King? “A smile is the prettiest thing you will ever wear” with a picture of a “smiling” lion?? Cartoon pictures of lions brushing their teeth? That’s fucked up. I’m not buying the “sorry” bit anymore.

I think I read it’s either a parody account or been hacked.

I agree with the OP. I think every business or professional being reviewed must disclose whether they previously killed a lion. Or better yet, any large predator. And kittens and puppies.

My view is that reviews that don’t directly involve the product or service should be deleted or at least flagged.

It’s like reading an Amazon review where someone gives the product 1 star because of late delivery.

We once got a negative review on one of our products that was a 5 or 6 paragraph rant about his difficulties with his HOA (the product is installed outside) and almost no mention of our actual product.

You’re right, it’s fake. I didn’t notice the missing “f” in the handle. I feel slightly better. Except for the dead lion thing.

I gave a certain restaurant a negative review four times and each review was deleted. And before you think it was a rant, all I did was give the facts like waitress spilled a glass of ice water and then refused to serve me a black and tan because they “would have to open a can of Guiness”. The food was misrepresented by the waitress and we were ignored by the server during our meal. Interestingly, I’ve never had a positive review deleted.

If it came out tomorrow that Yelp deleted negative reviews when [del]paid[/del] requested I would not be surprised.