When Brian DeOliveira welcomed the President to his flooring shop Sunday with a massive bearhug, it was the beginning of the end of his anonymity.
Brian DeOliveira, a registered Republican who plans to vote for Obama in November, found himself — and his Flooring company — entangled in a political firestorm, with reactions displayed in the form of Yelp reviews. So far, Diablo Flooring has received more than 3,000 reviews from partisans on the left and right.
The Danville,CA flooring company reportedly had 43 reviews on Yelp before the president dropped by. One of them, from Aug. 31, 2010, called it “one of the best places to get flooring in the area!”
But after images of Diablo Flooring embrace went viral, the Yelpers got political. Some reviews have reportedly been taken down because they didn’t meet Yelp’s “content guidelines.” Those that remain posted show that during an election year, everything — even a slice — is fair game.
A sample vitriolic, one-star review comes from …….. If you were a real republican you would have body slammed the socialist President Obama.”
Of course, the president’s supporters have also rushed to “rate” Brian’s carpet store. One five-star review even attempted to bring the conversation back round to the flooring before swerving back to the politics: “I have never had my flooring done by Diablo Flooring …but the people who have seem to LOVE IT!”, wrote “Acton C.,” adding: “Scott…you are exactly what this country needs…A hardworking independent minded voter!”
All of which has left Diablo Flooring with what Businessweek.com cheekily called the “least helpful Yelp profile ever.