How Writing Hateful Yelp Reviews Can Ruin Your Career

It’s not only would-be Harvard University students who are discovering how posting despicable comments online can harm their futures. A Yale professor wrote hateful reviews of New Haven businesses on Yelp and was placed on leave as a result. Her lies about the matter then cost her the position permanently.

As the New York Times has reported, June Y. Chu was Dean at Pierson College at Yale University with a prestigious pedigree: an undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College, a graduate degree from Harvard, and a leadership role at the University of Pennsylvania. But after the Yale newspaper posted screen shots of vicious reviews she wrote about a local restaurant and a movie theater, she was suspended from her job.

Chu issued a heartfelt apology. “I have learned a lot this semester about the power of words and about the accountability that we owe one another,” she said. "My remarks were wrong. There are no two ways about it. Not only were they insensitive in matters related to class and race; they demean the values to which I hold myself and which I offer as a member of this community.”

Such an apology is consistent with high-character leadership. She took responsibility for her poor judgment and vowed to make wrong things right.

Accountability is but one crucial quality of high-character leadership. Honesty is another. And this is where Chu came up short....more