Yelp makes it easier to support Asian businesses

Asian Americans and residents of the Pacific Islands have faced a wave of hate crimes during the pandemic, and Bark believes he can help by facilitating the support of these communities. The company has associates with Gold House, an inclusive nonprofit organization, to introduce an “Asian owned” commercial label. Stores and restaurants that choose to identify themselves in this way (it’s strictly voluntary) will be searchable through this attribute and will display it in the results. You can donate your business to the local Chinese store or Filipino restaurant much earlier, in other words.

Yelp said it was “proactively” monitoring business pages for hate speech targeting Asian businesses and would limit and remove any racist or anti-political content. The company also has labels for businesses owned by Blacks, Latinxes and women.

This raises concerns that racists could use Yelp to identify businesses for physical attacks and harassment. We asked the company to comment on this possibility. It’s an opt-in label, however, so businesses don’t have to identify themselves as Asian owned unless they’re comfortable with it. If all goes well, this move could help your favorite establishments overcome the combination of abuse and pandemic restrictions until both (hopefully) are gone.

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