Yelp's new feature flags businesses accused of racism

What if you had a way to see if an employee of a particular restaurant was involved in a racist incident?

That’s exactly what Yelp has done, and it’s raising questions as to who should and shouldn’t be making these decisions.

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According to Yelp, a business will be tagged with a “public attention alert” label if someone affiliated with it was accused of racist behavior resulting in several negative posts and reviews.

After resounding evidence of an egregious, racist act, Yelp will then upgrade the incident to this label –– officially labeling the business as being accused of racist behavior.

Yelp says once a business gets to this point, accompanying news articles will be attached to inform users more about the incident.

The social media review website says the decision to remove a label will be made on a case-by-case basis.

But this raises the question –– should a company have the power to label a business in this manner?

FOX 5's Ike Ejiochi spoke to managers at Blue Jacket in Navy Yard Tuesday and they applaud Yelp’s attempt to handle these types of issues, but at the same time, they feel this is yet another tool for bad actors or disgruntled employees to harm businesses. 

Nevertheless, potential patrons like this new feature and appreciate the chance to point out where potential issues can take place.

"I would say that it is necessary. I don’t think there's a problem with it because on this app, we're able to comment if were enjoying our experiences already. So, I don’t think it’s a problem to add the racist features to the app. So that other people can make educated decisions about where they want to go to dine and enjoy entertainment," one viewer told FOX 5.

Yelp first announced the new feature on October 8. It is currently in use.