Craigslist Goodies

Hot New Job Alert for Struggling English Majors: Writing Fake Yelp Reviews

Disrupt Yelp.
Chili's always scores 5 stars. (Photo: Yelp)

Chili’s always scores 5 stars. (Photo: Yelp)

There are plenty of struggling writers in the city looking for a few extra dollars, so someone has smartly devised a plan to use their skills and to game the very legitimate review system on Yelp. As discovered by Eater, a posting on Craigslist (in New York’s writing/editing jobs section, natch) is hiring people for $25 to write “well-written” reviews on the complaint outpost website for the restaurants suffering with poor scores. In addition to having the penmanship of Frank Bruni, interested writers are required to have 50 reviews in their profile.

The post instructs that you’ll use your words on restaurants that are “mostly positive 4′s and 5′s but a couple unfiltered 1′s dragging them down, either from competitors or disgruntled ex-staff.” For an extra $25, you can “cut and paste the same review onto a couple other social media websites.” There’s your chance to finally be popular on Citysearch!

Eater notes that the underground market for fake Yelp reviews is lucrative. They dug up emails from a totally real “reputation management firm” that charges restaurants $500 to increase their social media scores on review sites that your parents use, like Urbanspoon, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.

We’re waiting for the Sunday Styles piece on millennials writing Yelp reviews to pay their college loans.

(H/T Eater)

Follow Jordan Valinsky on Twitter or via RSS. jvalinsky@observer.com