What do Yelpers really think about free food?

By Michele Laudig

Wow -- I just stumbled on to a fascinating Yelp discussion about whether or not the Yelpers think it's okay to accept free food in exchange for a (possibly) favorable review on the popular everyone's-a-critic website.

I'd secretly hoped that the majority of Yelp postings were sincere, unbiased reviews of local restaurants by regular customers -- and indeed, I'm sure that some of them are -- but it looks like there's a lot more bribery going on in this town than it appears.

Sure, you can tell when somebody creates a login just to pimp their own restaurant, since not only is the writing a total B.J., but said Yelper usually has no posting history. (This seems to happen on Chowhound, too, but those posts sometimes magically disappear or get drowned out by more established and critical Chowhounders.)

But I guess it doesn't end there, from the looks of this thread.

Are you cringing at this whole thing, or do you say roll with a freebie when it comes your way?

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