You Can Officially Review the TSA on Yelp Now, But Don't Bother

Illustration for article titled You Can Officially Review the TSA on Yelp Now, But Don't Bother

The federal government wants you to review it on Yelp. Don’t do it.

People have been leaving unofficial Yelp reviews for the Transportation Security Administration and various dreadful DMVs around the US for a while, but now the government says it’s reading those reviews. Yelp has started a partnership with the federal government to create review pages for a variety of government-run places and services.

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From Yelp’s announcement:

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.

This sounds good in theory: The government gets a way to review feedback, people get a way to express their frustrations with how things are run. But I can’t imagine these reviews will have a substantial impact beyond temporarily placating the people who write them. Aside from the window dressings of a more engaged government, they’re meaningless.

Government services can now claim a Yelp page and potentially use the page to gauge feedback, but haven’t announced any actual plans for responding to the feedback. And I doubt they will.

It’s not like the federal government has to fret about the ratings. People who work for the government could easily follow in the tradition of most businesses with Yelp pages and balance ratings back in their favor by writing positive reviews. Yelp, like other review sites, doesn’t have a foolproof way to vet who writes in, and it’s riddled with fake reviews.

Anyways, the apex of usefulness for these reviews has already happened. Carly Fiorina (or, more likely, her PAC/campaign team) used the new Yelp tool as a channel to promote the GOP presidential candidate, leaving a 1-star review for the TSA.

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It’s a novel way to campaign, but I’m guessing Fiorina’s “take-down” will have minimal impact on the TSA’s policies. Unless you’re trying to stump for political office, if you actually have a serious problem with a federal field office or the IRS, leaving a Yelp review is unlikely to do anything.

[The Hill via Yelp]

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DISCUSSION

geekymitch
geekymitch

“The government gets a way to review feedback, people get a way to express their frustrations with how things are run. But I can’t imagine these reviews will have a substantial impact beyond temporarily placating the people who write them. Aside from the window dressings of a more engaged government, they’re meaningless”

For the most part, that’s all yelp is - a place for disgruntled people to voice their frustrations about a shitty *insert business here* or praise one that actually performs as expected. I would say that, other than for your mom n pop shop (pretty damn rare these days) it is HIGHLY unlikely that these comments are taken seriously or ever even considered by the place in question. Hell, check out the yelp page for Casa Bonita - 2.5 stars (which I consider generous). The place is a shit hole with what has been more or less universally accepted as the worst tex mex food in the history of that genre of food. Yet in all the years they’ve been piling up shitty reviews, it’s never made them change. Sears stores across the board get shitty reviews yet no change has come.

The gov’t is just another large corporation. Nothing more to it than that. Giving feedback about the TSA is like giving feedback about your shitty meal at Fridays. It’ll make you feel better, but at the end of the day, “Fuck you, we’re the TSA”.