If a person(s), organization, or a business creates a situation that presents danger, harm, or threat of harm, and then offers protection from that danger for a fee, it could be considered protection racketeering. So what if a company created a website that forced people to participate, manipulated data to make them look bad, and then, for a price, offered to make you look better?
That is essentially what Yelp has been accused of doing. It is called extortion.
It is important to note that at least two courts have dismissed extortion cases against Yelp, but the accusations continue to fly, and Yelp continues to tighten its noose around the necks of business owners.
Here is some food for thought -- an analysis of some of Yelp's practices that still fuels the discussion as to whether some of their business practice are unfair -- or even illegal.
Got a beef with Yelp?
- Review Yelp - Share Your Complaint Stories (you can do so anonymously.)