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Yelp Under Fire in Upcoming Documentary 'Billion Dollar Bully'

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The filmmakers have launched a Kickstarter to support the movie.


Review site Yelp and its gamut of controversies will be the focus of an upcoming documentary. Studio Prost Productions recently launched a Kickstarter to fund their film Billion Dollar Bully. It promises to be an investigative documentary about Yelp that "examines claims by business owners of extortion, review manipulation, and review fabrication."

Multiple restaurants have accused the company of removing their positive reviews if they did not agree to pay for advertising on the site. Others allege that Yelp representatives have offered to hide — or even delete — negative reviews in exchange for payment. Yelp has always denied these claims, calling them "conspiracy theories," and the courts agree: All lawsuits against the site relating to business practices were dismissed by the U.S. Court of appeals last September, and the courts found "no extortion or wrong doing by Yelp." The Federal Trade Commission also officially shut down its investigation into the company's business practices in January.

Regardless, the filmmakers believe that "business owners and consumers deserve to see arguments for and against Yelp's business tactics," adding that "after so much debate in the media, this documentary is long overdue." The team behind Billion Dollar Bully is hoping to raise $60,000 to cover post-production costs. So far, they're $10,510 closer to their goal, and the campaign ends April 20. Check out a trailer for the documentary below:

Video: Billion Dollar Bully

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