Anti-Yelp Documentary Wants Your Help
By now, most people know the allegations against Yelp: They manipulate businesses’ review pages and treat companies that pay for advertisements better than those that don’t. These claims even formed the basis of a class action suit against the review site, a case that Yelp ultimately won.
But just because a federal appeals court decided that Yelp wasn’t doing anything illegal doesn’t make Yelp’s practices totally ethical. And though Yelp claims everything within their business is on the up and up, a documentary filmmaker has set out to prove otherwise.
According to its director, Kaylie Milliken, Billion Dollar Bully will explore Yelp’s “$3.6 billion racket against small business owners.” Milliken talked with business owners from a variety of industries, all of whom have taken issue with Yelp’s practices. A teaser video for the project also shows the documentary team speaking with Yelp users, as well as Lawrence Murray, an attorney involved with the aforementioned class action suit.
Currently, Milliken claims her project is 50 percent filmed. Now she’s turning to Kickstarter to drum up the funds to finish it, saying, “We expect this film to be widely viewed, and we want it to look stellar!” The hope is to raise $60,000 within the next 30 days; the project has currently raised over a quarter of the funds.
If all goes as planned, the documentary should start screening around January 2016. Until then, it will just be Yelping as usual.