In an interesting turn of events, a small group of Yelpers has decided to file a lawsuit against Yelp, claiming they are "unpaid employees" of the website, perhaps inspired by all the hubbub of unpaid internships.
TechDirt reports that the lawsuit claims that Yelpers are "performing vital work that inures to the benefit of Yelp's various business enterprises," and that Yelp couldn't exist "without its domination and control over non-wage writers."
Of course, Yelp has always been a crowd-sourced reviewing platform, but these Yelpers just now are realizing that they have "worked a substantial number of hours for Defendant over a number of years, and were not paid a single cent for their work."
Complaints include: Directing "elite" reviewers to write more reviews (with varying stars) in order to maintain their elite status and oftentimes if "in Yelp's opinion [his/her] production seemed to slack off"; "firing" of elite reviewers without warning; and revoking licenses to write reviews, deleting their reviews and more. The plaintiffs are asking for "just compensation of wages, benefits, and reimbursement for the reviews they created." Read the complete lawsuit below.