One of the funnier stories from last week featured President Obama visiting a local pizza shop in Fort Pierce, Florida called Big Apple Pizza. The owner, Scott Van Duzer, gave the president a mighty bear hug. I thought the Secret Service would swoop in and tackle the guy, but it seems that even they know when a hug is just a hug.
Anyway, that seemingly innocuous event of a man hugging a person he respects has turned into an all out political turf war on the restaurant's Yelp page. Anti-Obama people have begun to create Yelp profiles and are flooding the page with one-star reviews claiming that the food is terrible or the sanitation is not up to snuff. It would be more believable if the reviewers were from Florida or it they had more than one review attributed to their profile.
Yelp was quick to act by removing all of the baseless reviews, but they keep flooding in. It doesn't look like it's going to stop either with the restaurant now featuring over 2,000 reviews in the span of just a week. Big Apple Pizza still retains a five star rating that's been bolstered by those in the pro-Obama camp.
The worst part about all of this is that this man's Yelp page has now become the site of the petty political wars that you see on Facebook or Twitter. There is no discussion or compromise. There is only those who think they can change the larger political discourse of America through a social networking site about food. It's absolutely ridiculous.
In all honesty, Yelp should just delete all of the reviews after the incident - both conservative and liberal. Reviews from both camps don't belong as they are politicizing an issue that never deserved to be politicized. Lord help us if Romney is hugged by a small business owner who owns a Yelp page.[h/t: The FW]