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Professor's Derogatory Yelp Review

TempA Boston University professor posted a Yelp review with personal comments about restaurant employees. Dirk Hackbarth, at BU’s Questrom School of Business, didn't like the service at Café ArtScience and wrote a review, referring to the employees' weight. He described the general manager as "fat guy" and wrote of the bar director, "Asian cool skinny dude at bar was friendly but knew he was powerless vis a vis the host — different weight class I guess though fat guy probably never heard of mma [mixed martial arts] tricks etc."

The school dean tweeted,

“We are aware of an inappropriate Yelp review posted by a member of our faculty. It does not represent our views and values. We are extremely disappointed by this occurrence.”

The original Yelp post was deleted. Two prohibitions in Yelp's Terms of Service may apply to this situation:

  • Writing a defamatory review
  • Promoting bigotry or discrimination

Discussion:

  • Assess the dean's response. Who is his audience, and what are his objectives?
  • Did Yelp do the right thing by deleting the review? Why or why not?
  • How do you see this situation as potential issues of humility and integrity? Consider the professor's role and standing at the university.