For more than 15 years, Yelp has prioritized content integrity by mitigating misinformation, fighting against fraud and protecting data quality on our platform. Today, Yelp is announcing the launch of our new Trust and Safety site, the release of our first-ever Trust and Safety report, and a new update to our recommendation software.
Our new Trust and Safety site serves as a central hub where people can learn more about the programs, technology and processes that help Yelp maintain our content integrity and protect our community of consumers and business owners. This includes insights on Yelp’s automated recommendation software, our unique Consumer Alerts program, and background on how we moderate content. The new site also details the critical health & safety data we display that may otherwise be hard for people to find, as well as the business attributes we make available on our platform so people can find businesses that align with their values, as well as help determine whether they will feel safe and welcomed at a particular business.
Our Trust & Safety site is also the home ofour 2020 Trust & Safety Report, which we also released today. This report provides a comprehensive overview of the steps Yelp took to safeguard the community in 2020, surfacing the most helpful and reliable content for consumers and leveling the playing field for businesses. Some key findings from the report include:
We received more than 18.1 million reviews in 2020. Of those reviews, as of December 31, 2020, more than 4.6 million reviews (~25%) were not recommended by our recommendation software because it suspected the reviews were a conflict of interest, fake, less useful, solicited, or otherwise less reliable; another 710K reviews (~4%) were removed for violating Yelp’s policies.
We published more than 2,500 total Consumer Alerts on business pages — up 93% from 2019 — which warn consumers when we learn about egregious attempts to manipulate ratings and reviews. The most common alert we published in 2020 was our Unusual Activity Alert, where we saw a 206% increase in the number of media-fueled incidents on Yelp, year-over-year.
Our team of human moderators removed more than 5,200 reviews for violating our special COVID-19 content guidelines between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 and more than 13,300 reviews were removed for threats, lewdness, hate speech, or other similarly harmful content between May 25, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
We closed approximately 100,000 user accounts due to suspicious, fraudulent, or abusive behavior.
As of December 31, 2020, more than 745,000 business pages reflect health and safety precautions implemented at a business, half of which came directly from business owners.
Lastly, today we also announced a new recommendation software update that is programmed to identify reviews likely coming from review exchange groups that exist on various online platforms and facilitate the buying, selling, or exchange of fake reviews. Learn more about this update here.
Yelp’s mission has always been to connect people with great local businesses. Providing access to reliable and useful information to help inform consumers’ spending decisions is critical to that mission. Our users’ trust is our top priority, which is why we take industry-leading measures to maintain the integrity and quality of content on our platform, while leveling the playing field for hard working business owners who rightfully earn their great reputation.