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Dispute with online portal Yelp: Gym boss wants transparent online reviews

2020-01-12T13:22:36.004Z

ZEIT ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates



Karlsruhe / Brunnthal (dpa) - The gym operator Renate Holland (67) calls for more transparency from the rating platform Yelp.

"They don't know their own algorithm," said the former bodybuilding world champion of the German Press Agency in Brunnthal near Munich - shortly before her litigation against the online portal went into the last round. This Tuesday (January 14th), the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe will decide whether Yelp could simply ignore good reviews from Holland's gyms for the overall rating (Az. VI ZR 495/18 and others).

On Yelp, users can rate restaurants, service providers and shops - and also gyms. One star is to be awarded ("Boah, it doesn't work!") To five stars ("Wow! It couldn't be better!"), And you can also write something. However, not all assessments are included in the overall assessment.

Automated software identifies the “recommended reviews” that Yelp considers particularly helpful or authentic. Yelp stressed that all review platforms are working to filter out fake reviews and announced an opinion after Tuesday's verdict. According to Yelp, the selection criteria include, for example, the quality, trustworthiness and previous activity of the user.

On average, about three-quarters of all reviews would be rated as recommended, Yelp explains. Not so with Renate Holland: one of her studios was awarded 2.5 stars in February 2014. The basis was only two evaluations. 74 mostly very positive contributions were disregarded. "I would normally have around 4 to 4.5 stars."

"It is strange that you simply delete it," says the 67-year-old, who sued this practice, failed in the first instance before the regional court, but was right in the second instance before the Munich Higher Regional Court (OLG). "Bad reviews can also be fake - from the competition, for example," she says. She is also surprised that users who have already given more than 1000 reviews are considered particularly reliable. «Who goes to a restaurant so often and evaluates so often?»

For Holland it is a fight between David and Goliath. «You are at the mercy of them. Today everything is evaluated and everyone is guided by it - including me when I go out to eat. "They not only fight for themselves and their gyms -" but also for other, small companies that may not have the resources to approach themselves fight back. " When she thinks of Tuesday, she gets a little nervous, she says. «It has been going on for six years now. Either I'm happy after the verdict - or I'm sad. »

Announcement by the BGH

OLG Munich judgment of 13 November 2018

Judgment of the LG Munich of February 12, 2016

Yelp on "Recommended Reviews"

Yelp explainer video on referral software

Source: zeit

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