Anti-Asian hate 'runs the gamut,' racist Yelp reviews show

by Lindsey Francy Feb 4, 2023 News
Anti-Asian hate

Christopher Wong had to contend with a racist troll as he ran a restaurant during a Pandemic.

The review of Wong's eatery, the Curry Up Cafe in suburban Los Angeles, said that he wouldn't have his dog eat there because they might cook him. The owner is employed by the Chinese government.

Yelp Hate Speech

There is an iPad with the Yelp app on it. The number of hate-filled business reviews has increased.

Patrick Semansky, AP file photo

The review had already been seen by a number of potential customers before it was taken down.

Wong said that someone who read that could have been a satisfied customer for years.

More than 2,000 racist reviews were removed from the site before it went online last year, a tenfold increase over the previous year.

It's a sharp increase that shows how even a site known for reviews of restaurants and repair services can get caught up in America's ongoing battle over online civility.

The largest increase was seen in reviews denigrating Asian Americans and Asian American-owned businesses, according to the figures in the annual trust and safety report released this past week.

Nine posts that included anti- Asian hate were removed by the company. It removed 475 in the year 2022.

Asian Americans experienced a rise in hate speech related to COVID-19, which was first identified in China, just as Yelp began tracking racial hate speech in 2020. Donald Trump referred to the coronaviruses as "kung flu" and the Chineseviruses.

A recent University of Michigan study found that Asian restaurants saw an 18% drop in customers compared with non-Asian restaurants in the same communities in 2020.

There's been an increase in violent incidents. There is anti- Asian stigmatization during the Pandemic.

An increase in the number of reviews that violated its rules about hate speech, threats or lewdness was one of the reasons for the increase.

Last year, Yelp removed hundreds of reviews that contained anti-gay hate speech. Similar content has flourished on social media, both on fringe sites popular with extremists as well as broad platforms, which has experienced a rise in racist posts following its purchase by Musk.

Since the beginning of the Pandemic, Yelp has improved its efforts to identify and remove Racist Content. The platform allowed businesses to identify the owner of their business. Customer reviews for hate speech are assessed by the company before they are posted on the internet.

The company is aggressive in taking down reviews that contain hate speech.

The trust and safety of the community is a top priority, according to a statement from the company's CEO. We invest a lot in technology and human moderation.

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