Mark McDonald, moving on up
Mark McDonald, moving on up

Old Vine Cafe Starts Petition Asking Yelp to Hold Members Accountable For Libelous Reviews

We've always loved Old Vine Cafe and the McDonald brothers, Mark and Brandon, who run it. We've also loved how the two will engage with any criticism leveled at them over at Yelp. Some might call it being thin-skinned; I say it's instantaneous response to any slights that customers might have felt.

As a result, however, some Yelpers love nothing more than to pile on ridiculous pronouncements on Old Vine--not that it does much to sway the sturdy four-star rating they have (for those of you who care; we sure as hell don't). But the personal attacks against the McDonalds finally went too far for them, and they've now declared war on the site.

On Sunday, Mark sent out a Facebook message to fans alerting them to a petition they had just posted on titled "Stop Yelp: Start holding Yelp accountable for the reviews written on their website!" The trigger was a one-star review left on Old Vine's Yelp page which not only slammed Old Vine for their service, but also threw in a personal dig at the McDonalds' father AND claimed Mark called African-American customers "monkeys."

"It is time to hold Yelp accountable for these libelous statements," reads the petition. "Stop allowing 'yelpers' to post libelous statements while hiding behind the cover of their computer screens. Start holding Yelp accountable for the false, misleading, and malicious reviews posted on their website."

Tellingly, Yelp took down that libelous comment that offended the McDonalds (I, of course, saw it but was too stupid in assuming Yelp would leave it up to bother taking a picture of it).

"Do we think a petition alone will solve this problem?" Mark concluded in his Facebook message. "No, but it will help us draw some attention to this issue, and provide some social media capital for facing Yelp head on."

Ooh, this is going to be fun...

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