UPDATE: Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

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My story on Yelp, "Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0," published yesterday has generated quite a bit of discussion online. More business owners have come forward with similar tales of offers to remove bad reviews in exchange for advertising, and users too are questioning the order of reviews (check out our comments section). Yelpers are also generating their own debate, including whether we published the article out of "jealousy." Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman has reacted to the allegations on his blog, but the inability to leave comments left some Yelpers flummoxed. (UPDATE: One Express commenter pointed out the irony here: "Yelp responded in a highly trafficked forum (their own blog) to clear up miscommunication and get the facts out from their own perspective. [That] is exactly the thing that all those businesses that get bad reviews on yelp don't get to do.") Stoppelman does have a Twitter account, and he's been responding to individual questions there. Check it out.

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