Yelp stops adding GoFundMe pages to businesses after opt-out complaints


Jeremy Stoppelman, chief executive officer of Yelp Inc., center, rings the opening bell with Chief Operating Officer Geoff Donaker, second left, and Chief Financial Officer Rob Krolik, right, at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Friday, March 2, 2012.

Yelp has paused adding GoFundMe campaigns to small business pages after the company faced backlash from owners who didn’t want to be included. 

Yelp announced Tuesday it was partnering with GoFundMe to help people donate to businesses being hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea was for customers to have an option to donate directly through Yelp pages, with all proceeds going to the small business. 

But Yelp added the GoFundMe pages to business listing without notifying the business owners first, resulting in a blowback that caused Yelp to suspend the program.

In an effort to roll out “quickly,” Yelp said that GoFundMe pages were automatically added to “an initial group of eligible businesses” who then got information on how to claim the funds or opt out. However, Yelp said that some companies did not receive instructions on how to opt-out of the program, while others said they wanted to actively opt-in. 

“As such, we have paused the automatic roll out of this feature, and are working with GoFundMe to provide a seamless way for businesses to opt into the program moving forward, as we have received a great deal of interest and support for the program from both consumers and businesses alike,” a Yelp spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Some small business owners voiced their complains on Twitter. Andy McMillan, whose profile says he owns Suckerpunch in Oregon, said he wanted his donation page to be taken down since he wasn’t given opt-out information. He said the donation page was later taken down.

Nick Kokonas, whose listed as a co-owner of Alinea Group properties, also asked Yelp on Twitter to remove the page. 

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