Yelp hiding all reviews of Dr. David Shields

A week ago, I received this message from Yelp:

Hi Paul,

We’re writing to let you know about our decision to remove your review of Shields David S MD. Your review was flagged by the Yelp community, and our Yelp Support team has determined that it falls outside our Terms of Service (http://www.yelp.com/static?p=tos), specifically as it relates to privacy.

We review every situation with detail and take the removal of reviews very seriously.

Regards,
Casper
Yelp User Support
San Francisco, California

Yelp Official Blog | http://officialblog.yelp.com
Yelp Frequently Asked Questions | http://www.yelp.com/faq

Removed Review: Stay away!

Dr. Shields is unhelpful. He spent very little time listening to me, had no interest in solving my problem and schedules unnecessary tests and procedures.

His office staff is rude, uncaring and unhelpful. They have all the empathy of a soggy burrito.

He doesn’t return phone calls.

He pawns you off on his nurse, Betty Bennett-Morse, who has no idea what she was doing — he scheduled me for a lactose intolerance test too — Bennett performed the procedure incorrectly and attempted to misinterpret the results (which I didn’t fall for).

ref:00D3vCN.5004A310E:ref

I replied, asking:

What does “specifically as it relates to privacy” mean? What words or lines in my review were objectionable?

So far, now answer. Today, I checked out Dr. Shields’ Yelp page. There are eight reviews and all of them are filtered. Strangely, most of them are positive.

Two additional reviews (mine, which is negative, and another, which is positive) were removed “for Violating our Review Guidelines or Terms of Service.”

There was another negative review, but it’s disappeared completely.

The Google cache shows three reviews, including mine.

What’s going on here?

Update: 19 April 2010. Current status: 2 visible, 6 filtered, 2 removed.

6 Responses to Yelp hiding all reviews of Dr. David Shields

  1. Eric Mill says:

    I’m thinking it’s because you gave out an employee’s full name (the nurse) in your review.

  2. Harvey says:

    > What’s going on here?

    I’ll give you 1 guess. ;-)

  3. paul says:

    Eric: but I gave the full name of the doctor, too! Why is the nurse different? It is critical to the review of the doctor’s office to identify who the problem nurse was.

    If what you’re saying is true, Yelp could have told me that in plain English. It’s in their interest to help me correct the defect in my review.

    That doesn’t explain why all the other reviews are filtered, two are blocked and one is gone completely.

    Harvey: Are you saying Dr. Shields is paying or otherwise enticing people to post positive reviews on Yelp? There are quite a few which have appeared in the last month, and they are glowing, but I wouldn’t have accused him of that myself.

    He has his own web site now, full of glowing reviews. Reads like a press release.

  4. amul says:

    I think Yelp sold them some “advertisement.” I won’t get myself started on Yelp, Doctors or lactose.

  5. Eliza R says:

    Nice (or depressing) to have more datapoints on Yelp’s shenanigans. They seem to have their most troubling fiascos (transparency problems, etc.) in the medical arena — I read a spate of interesting coverage last year around the time of some of the first lawsuits (http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-01-13/business/17198413_1_review-site-yelp-wong-s-case-public-forum).

  6. Margaret H. Hughes says:

    I recently was diagnosised with paratoid and salivary cancer, which was correctly removed, and I am in remission as of today August, 20th, 2012. I was just given this doctors named. However, I feel he will not be on my list of candidates. Thank you for the information.

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