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Create Legislation Allowing Businesses the Right to Opt Out of Advertising On Online Review Websites At Anytime Without Repercussions.

This petition had 48 supporters

Small business owners are taking on greater stress and working harder than ever before in an effort to avoid bankruptcy and stay profitable in a struggling economy.  The last thing small businesses need to be faced with are situations like in this video. These websites such as Yelp are hijacking the business listing and taking away all rights of the business owner.  They claim they are offering a reliable and objective service to consumers but in actual fact they are manipulating the listing by sensationalizing negative reviews, distorting the ratings and distorting how a business truly and honestly has the right to be displayed on the internet.

Yelp is bullying business owners with pressure tactics to pay for advertising in the following ways:

* If a business owner complains or objects to a fake review Yelp deletes and/or hides all positive reviews, skewing how a business is displayed on the internet until the business pays a monthly "advertising" fee. 

*Companies like Yelp contact the business owner and offer advertising to enhance their listing, if the business owner declines as you saw in the video, they will again maniplate the business's ratings and how it is displayed to consumers on the internet by distorting what reviews can show and focussing only on the negative reviews until the business agrees to pay the "advertising" fee.

*In other cases businesses are being manipulated by dishonest consumers threatening to ruin a business if they don't give in to unreasonable demands which in some cases are free service or free product.  These rare but dishonest consumers threaten the business owner stating if s/he doesn't give out freebies they will write a fake review tarnishing the reputation of the business. If the business owner brings this attention to Yelp, Yelp's response is: "but that is the customer's personal experience." when in fact it is not.

These acts of extortion need to stop.  Please sign the petition so legislation can be passed giving businesses the right to decide where and with who they want their business advertised and the right to remove their listings at any time from these sites without repercussion.  This will eliminate the imbalance of power and put small businesses back on a level playing field.  It is small business that is the largest driving force to creating a healthy economy, please support them.

"If freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."  Benjamin Franklin

 "Because to take away a man's freedom of choice, even his freedom to make the wrong choice, is to manipulate him as though he were a puppet and not a person."  Madeleine L'Engle

Today: Rachel is counting on you

Rachel Craggy needs your help with “STOP VIOLATING OUR FREEDOM TO CHOOSE, WE LIVE IN A "FREE" COUNTRY: Create Legislation Allowing Businesses the Right to Opt Out of Advertising On Online Review Websites At Anytime Without Repercussions.”. Join Rachel and 47 supporters today.