Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have faced a surge of hate crimes during the pandemic, and Yelp believes it can help by making it easier to support those communities. The company has teamed up with the inclusion-oriented non-profit Gold House to introduce an “Asian-owned” business label. Shops and restaurants that choose to identify this way (it’s strictly voluntary) will be searchable through that attribute and will display it in results. You can give your business to the local Chinese store or Filipino restaurant that much sooner, in other words.
Yelp said it was “proactively” watching business pages for hate speech targeting Asian businesses and would both limit and remove any racist or otherwise policy-violating content. The company also has labels for Black-, Latinx- and women-owned businesses.
This does raise concerns that racists might use Yelp to single out businesses for physical attacks and harassment. We’ve asked the company for comment on that possibility. It’s an opt-in label, though, so businesses don’t have to identify as Asian-owned unless they’re comfortable. If all goes well, the move could help your favorite establishments weather the combination of abuse and pandemic restrictions until both (hopefully) fade away.