Yelp Just Announced It Will Start Letting You Write Reviews About the Government

August 21, 2015   |   John Vibes

John Vibes
August 21, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) Even though no one is ever pleased with the service they receive from federal agencies like the TSA or the IRS, there is no real recourse for anyone who is dissatisfied with their service.

This is because government agencies are monopolies by design, meaning they do not have to worry about losing customers to another company. Their customers are essentially forced to do business with them because it is illegal for people to offer alternatives.

Nothing has changed about that arrangement at all, except now you can complain about it on Yelp! That’s right, the popular app that allows people to rate the service they receive from private businesses is now allowing users to make comments about federal agencies.

Apparently, this move is actually being welcomed by politicians, but it is highly possible they have no clue what they are in for.

Yelp released an official statement this week on its blog:

“We are excited to announce that Yelp has concluded an agreement with the federal government that will allow federal agencies and offices to claim their Yelp pages, read and respond to reviews, and incorporate that feedback into service improvements.

We encourage Yelpers to review any of the thousands of agency field offices, TSA checkpoints,national parks, Social Security Administration offices, landmarks and other places already listed on Yelp if you have good or bad feedback to share about your experiences. Not only is it helpful to others who are looking for information on these services, but you can actually make an impact by sharing your feedback directly with the source.

It’s clear Washington is eager to engage with people directly through social media. Earlier this year a group of 46 lawmakers called for the creation of a ‘Yelp for Government’ in order to boost transparency and accountability, and Representative Ron Kind reiterated this call in a letter to the General Services Administration (GSA). Luckily for them, there’s no need to create a new platform now that government agencies can engage directly on Yelp.

As this agreement is fully implemented in the weeks and months ahead, we’re excited to help the federal government more directly interact with and respond to the needs of citizens and to further empower the millions of Americans who use Yelp every day.”

The blog post was titled, “How Many Stars Would You Give the TSA? Review Federal Agencies on Yelp…and Maybe Get a Response.”

Though until now they haven’t responded to reviews, many DMVs across the country have already been racking up plenty of one-star ratings, with many more critical (and hilarious) reviews likely to come following this new announcement from Yelp.

Image credit: Yelp.com

Image credit: Yelp.com


This article (Yelp Just Announced It Will Start Letting You Write Reviews About the Government) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheAntiMedia.org. Tune in! Anti-Media Radio airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: Nan Palmero. Help us fix our typos:edits@theantimedia.org.

John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counterculture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.

Author: John Vibes

John Vibes joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in October of 2014. His topics of interest include agorism, anarchism, consciousness, the Drug War, and spirituality. Born in Philadelphia, he currently resides in Maryland.

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13 Comments

  1. Seems very strange — doubt this has anything to do with "transparency and accountibility." I'd bet my bottom dollar the spooks want to do some more intelligence gathering.

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  5. If they have to do this in order to see how much everyone hates them, they are more incompetent than I even imagined.

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  9. Poor reviews of experiences with various agencies will be used by politicians to advocate for more 'privatization'. Funny how that poor service thing happens AFTER same politicians starve agencies with budget cuts which forced cuts in personnell, which of course, results in POOR SERVICE to the public.

    If we want out public agencies to actually work, we have to allow for budgets that enable hiring enough people to do the work, then make sure the department heads administer properly. We still have a lot of Bush/Cheney era top management in many agencies. They are still throwing clogs in the machinery of government to assure people will want it all turned over to private business.

    Privatizing puts more layers of managers siphoning $ off the programs, and their profit quests will mean fewer and less trained people actually doing the work the public needs done.

    Pols create the problem of poor service so their corporate masters can rake in profits. Public still gets bad service, usually for more $$.

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  10. Well well well, here we have another very simplistic knock on "government," as if that were a thing. Really, people, "government" are literally thousands of agencies, all of whom operate under different authorities and have different funding sources. The notion that one could bundle "government" into a single entity with singular properties and then deride those properties as a whole is fucking stupid. There are a very large number of highly talented people who have given their lives to supporting you, and your response is to make ridiculously stupid broad-brush analyses of their hard work. Fuck you, man. As if none of the great work that has been done throughout this country for hundreds of years is somehow not valid. As if no one has EVER had a pleasant, efficient experience with a government agency. Give me a fucking break. And fuck off very much. Thank you.

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