Yelp has created a brand new label designed to warn users about businesses accused of “racist behavior,” a decision some are concerned could easily lead to false allegations based on political biases.
The ratings app announced the new “Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert” in a blog post Thursday.
“As the nation reckons with issues of systemic racism, we’ve seen in the last few months that there is a clear need to warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious, racially-charged actions to help people make more informed spending decisions,” wrote Noorie Malik, vice president of user operations for Yelp.
Yelp was immediately slammed for the move by conservative commentators.
Matt Walsh, a conservative columnist for The Daily Wire, said the “alert” is “giving race hoaxers a specific tool to destroy any business they want on a whim.”
Another writer, Ashe Schow, called it a “scarlet letter.”
Harmeet Dhillon, an attorney for the Center for American Liberty, argued the Yelp classification is “weaponizing defamation.”
It’s not surprising conservatives are concerned about the app addition.
As a result of the intense race-based riots and protests in Chicago over the summer, one Christian-owned eatery, Nini’s Deli, was forced to permanently shut down because the owners wouldn’t submit to the whims of the radical Black Lives Matter movement.
Despite owner Juan Riesco saying he believes “all black lives matter,” the Black Lives Matter organization led the charge in accusing the entrepreneurial family who emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba and Mexico of “racism” and “homophobia” because Riesco wouldn’t fully endorse the radical movement.
Riesco, who, prior to the backlash orchestrated by Black Lives Matter, had partnerships with brands like Nike and Adidas, told Faithwire in August it was important for him to call out injustice while at the same time promoting the Gospel.
“I had felt in my spirit that I needed to, yes, take a stand [against] injustice, but also take a stand, most importantly, for Christ,” Riesco said. “Because my business was so successful, by God’s grace, we had a lot of eyes waiting on us to make a statement about what was happening.”
“We used that platform — all those eyes on us, waiting to make a statement — to say, ‘We believe black lives matter, but we believe that because they’re made in the image of God,'” he added.
In the days that followed, Nini’s Deli, which once boasted soaring reviews on Yelp, was inundated with hate-filled comments across the internet, all of which culminated in a protest in front of the restaurant June 3, the last day the eatery was open.
The family has since relocated to another state due to safety concerns.