Crowdsourced Reviews of Restaurants

Online websites such as Yelp provide reviews and ratings of businesses through a social network. Based on the theory that reviews are more accurate when supplied by social contacts and peers, these sites have become popular since their introduction during the 1990s. Crowdsourced reviews, so named because they aggregate reviews from a large number of peers, affect the flow of customers to dining establishments and other businesses.

Users of Yelp and other such sites provide the data for each business, typically including a five-star-based rating, hours, location, products, and services. In a 2012 study of Yelp ratings for 328 restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area, the University of California–Berkeley researchers Michael Anderson and Jeremy Magruder found that an increase of one-half star in ratings made ...

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