Review site Yelp, has defended its policy meaning false accounts of gay sexual encounters are removed from venues which discriminate against gay people.
She added: “Here at Big Earl’s we like for men to act like men and for ladies to act like ladies, so we want you to never return.”
Restaurant owner Earl Cheney defended the decision, saying: “That’s just not appropriate in a family restaurant that has a sign on the front door that we just don’t do that here.”
According to Slate, users who posted the fake reviews received the following response: “Though we understand this business has recently received media attention and that users may have strong opinions, Yelp reviews should be focused on everyday customer experiences with a business; we think this is an important requirement for keeping Yelp a useful site for consumer reviews. While you are welcome to post your comments on Yelp Talk, please note that at this time we will be removing any repostings from you to this business listing.”
Users are able to report posts which do not fit with the Community Guidelines of Yelp, and a representative of the site said it would continue to delete any false reviews.
At time of publication only two genuine reviews remained. One read: “The food was too salty”.
The spokesperson went on to tell Slate that the site had no plans to include a facility to allow users to warn others against discriminatory policies, such as the one found at Big Earl’s.
“Yelp does not support any sort of discrimination… [but] we have no plans to include warnings for specific types of treatment reviewers report in their reviews,” the spokesperson said.
After controversy broke, Earl took to Facebook himself to claim that “We don’t serve fags here”, was never actually said by his daughter, the waitress, and instead she simply said: “We don’t like fags.”
Some of the now deleted reviews are available to read below.
– “On the positive side, it says “Bait House” but the place was more like a Bath House with all the horny Texas cowboys flirting and slapping each other’s behinds. Very gay-friendly atmosphere!”
– “Food is horrible!!!! But they love gays here so definitely a place to bring your partner and do lots of PDA!”
– “I met a cowboy daddy named Earl in the men’s room and he did not return the favor after I got him off. Giving two stars and not one, because Earl was a man’s man. Very masculine and verbally aggressive. And I like that. Still, I left unsatisfied.”
– “The food is whatever but the SCENE is simply TO-DIE. They don’t call it “Big” Earls for nothin (amiright?). Do yourself (and the lovely owners) a favor and get your bedazzled bottoms in this place ASAP! Happy Cruising Girls!”
– “Well, the food isn’t all that good, but this is still the best gay cruiser joint in Texas! I’ve picked up several dates there. All are very handsome, very gay men. I hear the owner offers discounts to men in chaps.”