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Headline: "Yelp is in a 'death spiral,' industry expert says." Why? (tinyurl.com/nwurcra)
It started when Yelp became tangled in a bizarre case involving a Minnesota dentist who has come under fire for traveling to Zimbabwe and killing a beloved lion named Cecil. People who were incensed with the dentist spammed the Yelp page of his practice, River Bluff Dental, with scathing reviews. Yelp had to step in to delete some of them.
While this isn't the cause of the Spiral of Death, it's symptomatic of the problem. Internet torch mobs will go anywhere to burn down a virtual house, and nasty Yelp reviews have become something of an art form, just like fake Amazon product evaluations. I don't find them particularly interesting, aside from showing how miserable people can be, but then again I like reading bad motel reviews. To each his own.