MY LETTER TO YELP
Dear Yelp People,
Dear Yelp People,
I understand the reasons for your algorithm and the fact is I personally find algorithms quite fascinating. I’m actually
writing a novel about Alan Turing and I have done research into the Entcheidungsproblem which is where algorithms
were first formulated. Did you know that algorithms were first formulated to prove that certain mathematical problems
were in fact unsolvable?
Fortunately, I have a problem you might want to help solve.
I believe there is a case in which an exception to your algorithm could be made because it could save lives.
Please check out this listing.
I don’t know if you or a loved one has ever been in a barbaric hospital, one that forces people to undergo electro shock
therapy without their permission, in which the staff our cruel, ignorant, and incompetent, denies people their medication,
gives them the wrong medication, makes no dietary provisions for people with severe allergies, lets violent patients run loose, forces people to stay longer than legally allowed, and overbills.
If you were there yourself, as I was, wouldn’t you be frustrated that 22 reviews, none of them fake, most of them
detailing this kind of barbarity are not recommended? So that someone who is in a hurry will turn to the entry and
see it has three stars and two highly positive reviews they might think the place is safe. When it is not safe.
In my community we have had a suicide because of malpractice at this facility.
Yelp has such a great power to do amazing good and to create community. People rely upon your reviews, and rightfully so, to help them make decisions.
Parents need to know what has happened to children here.
Spouses and lovers need to know what has happened here.
It is my life mission to make it safe for people who need treatment. I do not have millions of dollars. I do not have a huge organization.
Can you please help me save lives by making the 22 reviews (yes even the positive ones) figure into the actual
rating calculation and make them fully and automatically visible?
Do you have hearts? I hope you.
Are you willing to use your abundant brains to hack your own system?
If Alan Turing had gone into Centennial Peaks in a suicidal state, I am sure he would have faired poorly too.
We are not just crazies who don’t matter. Everyone matters. I happen to be an internationally respected scholar who
contributes to my community in so many ways. But again no one should be treated badly.
I think it is exciting to be part of such an influential company where you can really make this world better.
I can’t force you to do anything and I’m not into threats. I do know your algorithm has gotten a huge amount of flak lately.
Some say that people are gravitating away from your site and are not posting reviews anymore. Ford wouldn’t listen
to anybody when he marketed the Edsel either. Chevy didn’t bother to realize that Nova in Spanish meant “not go.”
I’m sure Myspace thought they were going to last forever too. I’ve studied marketing extensively and it is nothing
short of amazing the poor decisions made by promiment companies. The Nazis were convinced that they
had a perfect system and in fact it was certain features that they thought were the finest part of it that created
the loophole for them to be broken.
I will really really praise you on my social media if you help out.
But I know that sometimes I can’t make things happen because companies will give some excuse.
I will close with the thought that doing something difficult and courageous is its own reward sometimes.
Forget for a second that you are trying to justify what your company does and see yourself as human being who is in
position to leave this world a better place than they found it.
Think it over. If Alan Turing could break the Naval Enigma, surely you can find a way to restore those reviews.
Naomi S S Jacobs PhD