February 24, 2022

H.D. MILLER: Yelp Must Die!

Yet, complaining about yelpers says nothing of the fact that, in half of America, the Red Lobster is Yelp’s highest-rated restaurant. Nor does it say anything about the fact that Yelp, like the Japanese Yakuza, has essentially been guilty of extorting money from restaurants. Those are just two of the many crimes of Yelp.

Ultimately, however, the biggest problem is that Yelp overly democratizes criticism. It take a minor art, restaurant criticism, and turns it into a free-for-all of worthless opinion. Instead of sipping a civilized cocktail, you’re drinking swill from a firehose.

Writing good criticism, even restaurant criticism, isn’t something anyone can do. Not many people can write well, and most who do, don’t have the critical sense or sufficient taste to be good at criticism. Worse, we live in a moment when intelligent criticism, as a skill, has collapsed across the board. Almost no one seems to know anything about music, books, art, architecture, or movies. The premium for knowledge is at an all-time low. The market for criticism has gone bankrupt, and sites like Yelp helped it get there by flooding the internet with cheap shite.

Yes, for all I know, there may be great critics on Yelp, writing brilliant reviews at this very moment, but I’ll never find them because the signal-to-noise ratio is so terrible. As far as I can see, the tag “Elite Yelper” should be a scarlet letter.

Sadly, restaurant criticism is virtually dead as an art form. It was never particularly robust, but it’s next to useless now. Yelp detroyed it. And we, in turn, must now destroy Yelp.

Yelp must die.

Read the whole thing.


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