More threads by djbaxter


Jun 28, 2012
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Google balks at removing reviews that label workers 'racist and autistic'
Rosa Marchitelli, CBC News
June 3, 2015

Requests to remove nasty reviews denied, even though the posts go against Google's own review policy

A small business found itself in a battle with Google after the search giant denied repeated requests to remove reviews that included nasty personal attacks on employees and, according to the company, lies.

Google refused to remove the reviews, even though they violated the search giant's own review policy.

Steve Kelly, the owner of Securco Services Inc., never expected he'd have to take on Google to protect his company's reputation. The alarm security company has operated in Nanaimo, B.C., for 40 years. About a month ago, three reviews popped up on Google within days. They were the company's first online reviews ever ? and they were nasty.

Someone calling himself John Bailey said: "Their sales rep, Monte, must have been runner up to be village idiot for the City of Nanaimo. Because that is clearly the level of knowledge and expertise that he brings. The office is run by a generally racist woman called Shereen and she has the attention span of a wood bug. The owners Steve and Ian are disconnected from reality to the point of autism?"

David, are u psychic? Or did the word Autistic grab your attention? :p

I was just reading this and wondering if I had the carpal bandwidth to report on it. So thanks for saving me some copying and pasting!

There are a couple other stories in here too, that get to the broader negative review issue that I wanted to point out.

Further down:

At the mercy of review sites

Tom Keenan is a cyber-expert and author of Technocreep: The Surrender of Privacy and the Capitalization of Intimacy.

He says when it comes to removing slanderous or false reviews online, businesses and individuals are at the mercy of companies like Google, Amazon and Yelp unless they want to take the issue to court, which is often very costly.

And then he goes on with more information including that new CA law.

And at the bottom he quotes a study done by the Harvard Business School that I had not seen that's very interesting and talks about specific review stats.

<a href="">Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue: The Case of</a>

Thanks for sharing David!
Unbelievable. Even Yelp will remove reviews like those. But not good ol' Google.

Nice find, David.
When it comes to reviews, it seems you are really at the mercy of the rep you're speaking with. I once worked with Google in an attempt to remove a false review for a client, which we suspect was done by one of their competitors.

Prior to calling, I put together a case that the time stamp "trail" didn't make sense. On week 1, the competitor posted a positive review under a dummy account for another listing that had since been removed (probably marked as spam).

Then 1 week later, the competitor posted a negative review for my client. I made the case that "Who would receive (a specific type of service to fix something) from 1 business and 1 week later receive the same service from another business - after their issue had already been fixed the week prior?"

I called support and one rep was adamant about not removing the review, although he agreed that it did not make sense and indeed was suspicious.

After a few days, I called support again and spoke to another rep who was more sympathetic, said he'd look into it and finally removed the review.

In terms of reviews, I think getting the right support rep is key.
Interesting story and interesting comments, especially the comment that suggested dealing with more than one customer service rep might enhance the ability to get a review removed...or dealing with the "right" customer service rep at google might assist you.

The resolution on the above story, getting google to remove the review after getting publicity and being called on the par for the course. Google just doesn't act on these things without an outside push!!!!

So one of our smb's has a Yelp review wherein there is code language for racism. The review went into the "filtered" not counted section. But it still sits there.

We tried to get the review removed back in June. Yelp denied it. I'm going to try again. Frankly the "thing" that occurred in Charleston SC might help address these code signals.

They are really disgusting. The review carriers should respond!!!!!

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