Saturday, June 17, 2017

Reem's bakery in Fruitvale: Gaming the system on Yelp

From Berkeleyside, writing about Reem's, a new bakery in the  Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland:

Assil decidedly chooses to use “Arab” over “Middle Eastern” when describing her concept. “I wanted it to be political,” she said. “People are afraid of politics, but now more than ever people are asking. If my food can stir up a conversation — even if it’s a hard conversation — that’s what I want it to do. I welcome that in my space.”

Reem Assil 's commitment to open dialog  and conversation apparently is limited to those who agree with her.  On her Facebook page, she has urged her followers to rate down negative comments on Yelp, and to give her establishment positive reviews

Reem Assil, a  local anti-Israel activist and member of the extremist Arab Resource Organizing Center (AROC)  solicited her political connections to shut down complaints about her new bakery. Anti-Israel activists from as far away as Texas, many who have never set foot in the bakery were quick to leap to her defense, sharing notes on how to game the Yelp review process, and chortling over their success in shutting down negative reviews.

Let this be a cautionary tale to those who rely on Yelp reviews.  Apparently it is not difficult to trick the Yelp review algorithm.  And let this also serve as an example of how anti-Israel activists will stop at nothing in their ruthless attempt to shut down voices that challenge them-  even if the voices are simply complaining about burnt flatbread and surly service.


Anonymous said...

You should let Yelp know:
I will as well

140 New Montgomery Street
Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94105
Attn: Customer Service

I just wanted to let you know that Reems, a business owner in Fruitvale, Oakland has been soliciting positive reviews from all over the country- and asking people to rate down negative reviews as racist or lewd. I’ve enclosed copies of a few examples of the posts.

She’s been bragging about her success all over social media with the hashtag “ they lose” and “we win.”.

She’s turned this into a political battle that has nothing to do with food.

By allowing negative reviews to be flagged in this manner, you are weakening the Yelp brand, and making all listing suspects. This violates the Yelp terms of service, as well.

Thank you for your consideration.

Anonymous said...

Israellycool picked up this story. Check it out, here:

Anonymous said...

Her Facebook rating went from 5.0 to 1.6 in a day after more than 700 Pro-Israel warriors left 1 star reviews. I was one of them. I don't agree with those leaving a review about the food if they haven't eaten there. However, Reem's is supporting terrorism and the boycott of Israel so I hope her business fails.

Anonymous said...

Some San francisco food journal called your "local blog for local people" an English language Israeli blog. Reading comprehension fail.

Craig said...

Here's a link to the article referenced above. You should contact the author to request a correction: