Gaming the Yelp System

PSA for my Yelp Phoenix friends: There’s an influx of fake Yelp profile friend requests. It’s not just enough to check for a ‘real enough’ looking profile + some level of content. Those photos are often stock photos. Yeah, that stinks. One of my friends tipped me off.

Here is “Brooks”. One of my new buds. (Or he was until I axed him.) Sounded a bit preppy but the kid had content.

Such a polished look!

Such a polished look!

Tineye.com is a great tool to reverse lookup stock photos.

Ruh roh. Doesn't look good...

Ruh roh. Doesn’t look good…

And clicking that final link is confirmation ….

"Happy Young Business Dude!"

“Happy Young Business Dude!”

FYI for anyone that didn’t know, you can create “friend” relationships the same way you do on Facebook or other social media. I had not been paying much attention to requests. I’d say yes based on the person’s grammar and whether or not they had a real photo. (My sensibilities are easily offended by egregious use of spelling.)

When you “check in” to a place your “friends” can see where you are. There is additional functionality. But to me that was the biggest concern area. Not wanting a stalker I’d review new friend requests with that in mind.

I’d never write a fake review. I write them as I experience them. Apparently you can sell yourself on Craigslist. (“Here, let me write some reviews for cash.” An article from Grubstreet captured this gem.) Of course people are looking to game the system. Having a body of friends – I have been told – helps to add credibility to reviews. That may or may not be true. However, I wanted my Yelp friends to be aware of the fake new profiles out there.

However, if you’re a former Playboy bunny…the friend request may be immediately accepted 🙂

Hi Kathy!

Hi Kathy!

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