Proposition 8 and community review sites: Everyone loses

What happens to a community review site when members of the community use it as a weapon against people they don't approve of? Sites like Yelp and Citysearch are finding out, as users target businesses that supported California's Proposition 8 (the state's recently-enacted gay marriage ban). The results so far are not pretty. They illustrate some of the weaknesses of online reviews, and the complexities of managing a community site.

It's a learning opportunity for any company that relies on online reviews or runs a website that allows user comments. I wrote about it over on the Rubicon site (link).


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Another great example of this occured recently in the video game industry; EA shipped several high-profile games with some relatively restrictive DRM features which the mass market user probably wouldn't care about, but which upset the hardcore gamer community. You can see the results on the amazon review pages.