Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, has lost his appeal and according to an Fox News article by Todd Starns will have to have he and his entire staff undergo "comprehensive training on Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws."
We have no 'dog in the hunt', as they say in the south, beyond what we found when, out of curiosity, we looked for reviews for Masterpiece Cakeshop. We do happen to believe that a private company should have the liberty to decide which market they serve, but that's another post in another venue.
Yelp claims on their website: "We use automated software developed by our engineers to recommend reviews from the Yelp community. The software looks at dozens of different signals, including various measures of quality, reliability, and activity on Yelp. Most of all, however, it’s looking for people who are intrinsically motivated to share the wide range of rich and detailed experiences they have every day with local businesses." (http://www.yelp.com/faq#which_to_recommend)
What we found were many recommended reviews that seemed to simply be "protest reviews". Jon H. of Uptown Chicago, IL (a mere 1,016 miles away), for example, left a 1 star review and said, "So rather than being a civil, loving, welcoming person like your Bible asks of you, you have chosen to act like a child by taking your toys home to play by yourself. No more wedding cakes since the law ruled on the side of equality, love, and acceptance?!? Pathetic."
There is no way for us to know if Jon has ever set foot in Masterpiece Cakeshop, but based on his review being simply a protest to the owners personal beliefs, we would guess not. How does it make sense to allow Jon H.'s 1 star review affect their Yelp rating by recommending it? It doesn't. Further, how in the world does Yelp "recommend" this as a review from someone who has had "detailed experiences...with local businesses"?
One can only conclude that Yelp's great filter is broken or worse - not what they claim, right? What are your thoughts? Do you have a Yelp story you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you.