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Re: [tor-talk] Yelp blocking Tor users from viewing entire site



On 01/27/2015 06:28, Öyvind Saether wrote:
This is clearly not why they are blocking Tor. Yelp has decided that
you can't read their website anonymously. If they were blocking http(s)
POST requests then that would be another story. As someone who has a
bunch of websites myself I do have some understanding as to why someone
would block http(s) POST but simply denying people access to read your
website anonymously is going way further.

Let's say user A wrote the review for business B few months ago, from their own networks. Now, they both log into Yelp (using only GET requests) from the same IP or net. This business, and possibly the reviewer too, will get flagged by Yelp, because Yelp will decide these two are likely related. Only because of GET requests from the same net. Yelp is very sensitive to this, because too many businesses ask customers to write reviews while they are still in the office, show them Yelp, ask to open an account, etc. Yelp wants to prevent such things, and wants to have access to "real" IPs for that. That is one of the reasons they ban tor. Banning only POST requests is what one would do when they try to be open about what they are doing. Yelp doesn't try to be open, and instead lets you leave the review, then watches people's activities and patterns, mines data, and then labels certain reviews as not recommended. They also don't hide reviews immediately, only after a week or so, when they figure you aren't looking any more. This is different philosophy, and much more subtle and secretive approach.

Otherwise, people can access it without login, without cookies, I tried few VPNs, it also works fine through them.

Yuri
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