Karlsruhe (dpa) - Internet reviews decide where people go out to eat, drive their car into the workshop or do sports - but how does a platform get their marks? This question today occupies the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe.

The operator of several gyms in the Munich area has sued the online portal Yelp: They have lost because of a too poor overall rating customers.

On Yelp, users can rate restaurants, service providers, and stores. To forgive are a star ("Boah, that's not even!") To five stars ("Wow! It's not better!"), You can write something. However, not all ratings are included in the overall rating. Automated software only identifies the "recommended posts" that Yelp considers particularly helpful or authentic.

According to Yelp, criteria are the quality, the trustworthiness and the previous activity of the user. Favors ratings and counterfeits should be sorted out. "But many are also real contributions from real customers, whom we just do not know well enough and therefore can not recommend," it says on the page.

For example, in one of the studios this resulted in 2.5 stars due to two reviews. 74 mostly very positive contributions were not taken into account. On average, according to Yelp, about three-quarters of all posts are rated as recommended. The others can be read though. To do this, the user has to scroll down the page and click on a link.

Recently, the Higher Regional Court of Munich had forbidden Yelp to evaluate the gyms in this way, and awarded the operator damages. A rating portal is primarily used to get a quick overview of the offer in the area. By sorting out so many reviews, "no helpful, but a distorted overall picture".

In contrast, Yelp closed revision. The BGH can pronounce its verdict on the day of the hearing or later. (Az. VI ZR 495/18)

Announcement of the BGH

Judgment of the OLG Munich of 13 November 2018

Judgment of the LG Munich of 12 February 2016

Yelp on "recommended posts"

An explanation video from Yelp about the referral software