25 Apr '12, 1pm

Yelp’s Review Filter Sometimes Does More Harm than Good

Your algorithm typically hides entries by people who only post one review and who don’t otherwise engage in Yelp. Your assumption is that if a user only posts one review, posts no comments, has no friends etc. then most likely they are fake and trying to game the system. Let’s call this “Assumption X”. In the case of the company that I mention above (the one that ripped me off) Assumption X is exactly wrong at least 10 out of 14 times. Just to be clear, 10 honest one star reviews have been hidden from public view. That’s a 71% false positive hit rate. So why did Yelp get it wrong 10 times? In each case the one star review was left by someone who would never normally leave a review… they were simply so outraged that they were motivated to signup to Yelp and try to warn others how bad this company is. None of them ever used Yelp again. Furthermore, they didn’t have the knowl...

Full article: http://www.smallbusinesssem.com/yelps-review-filter-somet...

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