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When should I report a review?

The best reviews are passionate, personal narratives that are full of details and tips. Yelpers represent a wide range of voices, opinions, and experiences, but we will remove a review if we believe it violates our Content Guidelines. Help us out by reporting questionable reviews, but keep in mind that reporting it doesn't guarantee it will be removed.

There are three main reasons why we might remove a review

1. The reviewer has an apparent conflict of interest

  • They appear to be a competitor or former employee
  • They appear to be affiliated with the business
  • They're receiving payment or other incentives for the review
  • They're promoting the business or a competitor

2. The review doesn't focus on the reviewer's own consumer experience

  • It's about someone else's consumer experience
  • It describes extraordinary circumstances (e.g. COVID-19, media fueled stories)
  • It's primarily disputing another Yelper’s review
  • It's about a different business
  • It appears to be plagiarized from another source

3. The review includes inappropriate material

  • It contains hate speech, lewd commentary, or threatening language
  • It contains private information about employees or patrons

The reviewer has an apparent conflict of interest​

Yelp works hard to be a trusted resource for consumers, so reviews should be written by someone with an unbiased consumer interest. This means we'll remove a review if it's clear that it was posted by someone with a conflict of interest, including reviews from current or former employees, competitors or peers, or friends and family members of the business owner – even if they insist they were actually a customer and were uninfluenced by their relation to the business. The same goes for people who were paid or otherwise incentivized to write a review.

Please note that it usually isn't enough to say that you're suspicious of a bias. It must be clear to our moderators that there's a conflict of interest, so please provide specific evidence when you report the review.


The review doesn't focus on the reviewer's own consumer experience

A good review helps others make informed decisions about whether to patronize a business and reflects the reviewer’s personal experiences with the business as a consumer or prospective customer: anything that came up in their interactions with the business is generally fair game. This goes for observations (like the cleanliness of a store) as well as their general impressions (like the attitude of employees or overall ambiance of the location). 

Reviews that aren’t written from a consumer perspective, or focus on elements outside of the reviewer’s experience with the business, aren’t as helpful to prospective customers and may be removed. This includes reviews based on or describing someone else’s experience (even if it’s done accurately), reviews that appear to be based on something the reviewer heard from a friend or saw on the news, and reviews primarily disputing the opinions of another reviewer. Plagiarized reviews and reviews that were incorrectly posted to the wrong business page can be harder to identify, but when it’s clear that a review was swiped from another source or meant for another business, we’ll remove it.

Reviews that speak only to a business’s hours, offerings, or policies are also subject to removal. This information may be interesting or helpful to prospective customers, but it isn’t sufficient for a review. Helpful information can be posted as a Tip, and commentary or debate about a business's politics, philosophy, or employment practices can take place in Yelp Talk

The impact that COVID-19 has had on everyone’s daily lives—including interactions with local businesses—has prompted us to update our content guidelines to protect businesses from unfair reviews during this time. We've also added a new reason to report reviews that states, "It represents an extraordinary circumstance (e.g. COVID-19, media-fueled)."


The COVID-19 content guidelines prohibit certain review content, including:

  • Claims that someone contracted COVID-19 from a business or its employees 
  • Criticism about a business being closed during what would have been their regular open hours  
  • Criticism of the safety measures a business is taking (for example, requiring that customers wear masks) 
  • Pandemic-related issues that are out of a business’s control, such as mandatory government regulations

If you see a review that doesn't focus on a personal consumer experience, please report it.


The review includes inappropriate material

Reviewers are allowed to use colorful language and speak in their own words, including occasional profanity, but we don’t believe it’s ever necessary to resort to threats, hate speech, or lewd commentary to convey your experience.

While some people may interpret those terms differently, here's what we mean:

  • Threat: a statement of intent to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action.
  • Hate speech: speech that attacks an individual or group based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits.
  • Lewd: statements that are crude and offensive in an overtly sexual way.

Similarly, reviewers shouldn’t post private information in a review, such as a bartender's full name or address, but full names in certain circumstances (e.g. doctors, lawyers, or realtors) are ok.

If the review includes inappropriate material, please report it.


You should report questionable reviews, and always provide any specific evidence you have. However, keep in mind that mere suspicion usually isn't enough for removal, and that although you may find something offensive, we allow for a wide range of perspectives and our moderators may determine that it is not in violation of our Content Guidelines