If you’re thinking about eating at Big Apple Pizza in Fort Pierce, Florida, you’re not going to find much information about what the food actually tastes like on its Yelp page, even though it boasts more than 2,300 reviews.It’s because of the controversy surrounding an image of owner Scott Van Duzer bearhugging President Obama that quickly went viral.
Conservatives declared a boycott, Obama supporters came to the pizzeria’s aid, and a full-on Yelp troll battle — which, again, has nothing to do with food or service —began.
The Atlantic Wire counted the reviews and reported around 60-1 ratio of five-star to one-star reviews, so it looks like the pizza place’s supporters are winning. Big Apple Pizza is now the highest-rated restaurant on Yelp in the state of Florida.
Why is that happening? Eater’s Gabe Ulla explains:
“Yelp’s ‘review filter,’ which is designed to catch ‘fake, shill or malicious reviews,’ isn’t particularly effective at catching a mini-flood of one-star reviews. In this case, though, it seems to have been better at eliminating the one-stars, since the vast majority of what’s left are the five-stars. Many of them having nothing to do with pizza.”
Here’s a sampling:
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