Yelpers are fundamentally the worst but are they also a bunch of racists? A study by researchers at CUNY concluded that Yelpers felt "negative" about traditionally black neighborhoods when compared to traditionally white neighborhoods in a comparison between reviews of Bed-Stuy restaurants versus Greenpoint restaurants. City Lab has an interesting breakdown on the study.

Researchers Sharon Zukin, Scarlett Lindeman and Laurie Hurson whittled down a sampling of 7,000 reviews of both the trendiest and top reviewed traditional restaurants of both neighborhoods, eventually focusing in on 1056 reviews that explicitly stated the neighborhood in which the restaurant was located. They discovered that Yelpers were twice as likely to mention Bed-Stuy when reviewing a restaurant and three times as likely to use the neighborhood when describing a trendy restaurant in Bed-Stuy over one in Greenpoint.

Even more troubling was the common language used to describe both restaurants and the neighborhoods in which they were situated. Greenpoint eateries were commonly referred to as "cozy...European...authentic" while Bed-Stuy was described as "dangerous...sketchy...hood...ghetto." Yelp reviewers "show marked preferences in terms of race," the study found, noting that "far more reviewers draw attention to the urban locale when the majority of residents are Black."

And while reviewers expressed concern about gentrification in predominantly white Greenpoint, trendy restaurants in predominantly black Bed-Stuy were heralded as "the kind of place Bed-Stuy needs." Of course "hipsters" play a role in the study, too.

"Intentionally or not, Yelp restaurant reviewers may encourage, confirm, or even accelerate processes of gentrification by signaling that a locality is good for people who share their tastes," the researchers deduced. Yelp: the harbinger of gentrification.

[h/t GrubStreet.]