I used to like Yelp for restaurant and business reviews, until I realized that more and more reviews were becoming profanity laced. Even positive business reviews were including all kinds of expletives to describe whatever the reviewer decided to rant about. Often reviews would contain irrelevant information about the reviewer’s bad day, crappy mood, speeding ticket, whatever. Because I was literally attacked on the site for just suggesting that reviewers omit profanity from their restaurant reviews, I’ve deleted all of my reviews from Yelp. I tried to find a way to delete my account from Yelp but instead had to remove all information from my profile. I guess they take the same attitude as Facebook and never allow users to delete an account after it is created.

Like any place that is “free” without policing, the undesirables of society soon move right in and take over, forcing the well-meaning folks out. There appears to be no suppression whatsoever of foul language or other off-topic rants in business reviews. Yelp doesn’t charge any user fees to post or read reviews and it doesn’t appear to have any advertising revenue. No business owner in their right mind would pay for advertising on the site unless they could be guaranteed that all negative reviews would be removed or suppressed. That basically leaves only one other possible place to obtain revenue. I found articles stating that businesses are being contacted by Yelp and offered “business accounts” for $350 per month so they can “control” the reviews being posted. How convenient, and expensive. Basically, Yelp is using the negative reviews to try and force businesses to pay them money so they can get rid of bad reviews. Hmmm, sounds like good old extortion tactics to me.

Like most social networking sites, Yelp has degenerated into a user group of ignorant, bar hopping, profanity-using, angry 20-somethings who just need a place to vent their frustration or pick up a possible date. And, evidently, they want to type a lot of curse words — and Yelp lets them do just that with abandon.

I will no longer use Yelp for any purpose because it simply doesn’t work.