Monday, September 10, 2012

Big Apple Pizza and the #Politics of Yelping

Yesterday, Scott Van Duzer, powerlifter and owner of Big Apple Pizza in Fort Pierce, Florida gave a big hug to Obama and said that, although he was a traditional Republican, he supported Obama for reasons that seemed good to him. Hey, it's America, right?
Then today a wave of people were jumping on this business's Yelp reviews and giving him low (one-star) reviews based, not on his pizza or anything, but on the politics! This is wrong. Love him, hate him, buy his pizza, boycott his pizza ... do what you want! But don't go mess around with reviews - that hurts everybody.
The internet reacted. Now at this moment the reviews condemning the political reviews are driving the political reviews down. I don't know how it all works out mathematically; just off the top of my head, it seems likely that a spate of 1-star and 5-star reviews will drive the overall score toward the median, masking the actual, quality-based score. But I found it interesting enough to try to be funny in  writing my own review:
"You may or may not like Obama,
You may be all focused on drama,
 But when pizza you're rating -
 Think "food" and not "hating"!
You should have learned that from your Momma!"
I'm happy to see that other reviewers rated this little limerick as "funny" as well as "useful" and "cool".  I'll probably never go to Florida and see this guy's pizza shop, but we are now connected in a little way, thanks to the internet, a desire for fairness, and a shared love of humor.

Updated 9/11/2012:
It looks like Yelp has purged a lot of reviews, including mine. Ah well! My only regret is the loss of so many positive responses to my review ... it was 2nd in the "funny" category and in the top 10 of "cool". I suppose this is a lesson to writers: preserve your work on more than 1 site!

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