Lawsuit Against Yelp `Ridiculous': Thompson

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Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) –- Bloomberg Contributing Editor Nicholas Thompson discusses the class action lawsuit against Yelp. He speaks with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)

Is this frivolous?

Do the reviewers have a point cap?

Yelp would not exist or not be nearly as valuable if it were not for these reviewers.

They have made them very wealthy.

They have not gotten anything.

On some faint moral level you can say there's a justification but in 1000 other ways it's frivolous and ridiculous.

They signed up knowing full well that yelp did not tape.

They did it for the reasons why we all contribute online.

We do it for prestige, because we think we are making the web a better place.

They do not get paid for wikipedia entries or by google for an betting links.

The lawsuit raises an interesting point but is also ridiculous.

Yelp, more so than other companies, really does depend on reviews for the business model.

Does that matter?

Twitter relies on your tweets.

They really do rely on their reviews in the question for that company is what's the best way to get the highest quality review?

Yelp does not pay reviewers.

Amazon in a way does pay through a quiet program called vine where products are shipped out to talk reviewers but there are ethical tangles to get involved in because then you change the incentive and you create problems.

There is a question of how to get the best reviews.

And then there's the legal question that given that yelp made the decision can the people who contribute subiaco my senses no.

-- contribute sue?

My sense says now.

There are a whole underground population of people review all day long and they get the pic from things on the list and get to keep.

Is there a conflict of interest there?

Definitely.

You get a vacuum cleaner and you don't have to give it back, it may well color the way you write about that product.

When you look at user reviews, you certainly think that i'm reading the reviews of people who just happen to buy the product for people who needed a vacuum cleaner not people who were sent one and wrote about it.

What amazon is doing is a little bit strange, a little bit deceptive, and it's complicated.

Should we trust these reviews?

As a customer, i read reviews all the time and they have a huge influence on what i buy it.

They do have a huge influence . should we trust them?

There are lots of reasons why we should not.

The companies are out there and they're hiring people to write sacred use and there's a lot of gaming of the system out there and amazon and yelp are working very hard to try to counter that.

The reviews that come through fine -- vine are more trustworthy than astroturf so there is a cat and mouse game that goes on between people trying to game the system.

Overall, the quality of reviews has increased immensely but it's also the case that there are lots of times where products are not in a good.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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