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Yelp has already appealed the decision

Seven anonymous Yelp reviewers are the target of a recent court investigation, and Yelp has been asked to identify them. 

According to The Atlantic, Alexandria, Virginia-based Hadeed Carpet Cleaning received some negative reviews on Yelp, and like most companies in that position, wasn't happy about it. But the issue is that Hadeed Carpet Cleaning says the reviewers were never actual customers at all.

According to Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, it was unable to match the Yelp reviewers -- who used pseudonyms on the site for anonymity -- with actual customer experiences. Hence, the company asked that Yelp reveal the identities of these seven reviewers so Hadeed Carpet Cleaning can confirm if these are actual customers, or just people leaving false reviews. 

Many people go to Yelp today for reviews on businesses, which are based on a scale of one to five stars. Reviewers can also leave comments on their experiences, and negative reviews have the potential to hurt a business if they sway customers away. 

Yelp, however, wasn't handing over the customers' identities. The company believes these reviewers have the right to say what they please anonymously thanks to the First Amendment, so the case went to court. 

As it turns out, the Virginia Court of Appeals has ordered that Yelp reveal the identities of the seven individuals because it said the comments are not supported by the First Amendment if they aren't actual customers of Hadeed Carpet Cleaning. 

Yelp has already appealed the decision, saying that Hadeed Carpet Cleaning needs to bring more evidence to the table that these are not actual customers before it receives such information. Also, Yelp thinks there should be proof that the comments caused any harm to business. 

"Other states require that plaintiffs lay out actual facts before such information is allowed to be obtained, and have adopted strong protections in order to prevent online speech from being stifled by those upset with what has been said. We continue to urge Virginia to do the same," said Yelp spokesman Vince Salitto.

The case will make its way to the Virginia Supreme Court from here. 

Source: The Atlantic

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By p05esto on 1/10/2014 1:23:12 PM , Rating: 3
Not sure how I feel about this one. One one hand Yelp and all review sites are full of BS comments. On the other people should be able to post annonymously and if the person wants to not be identified in fear of revenge by the company they should be able to change the story in the review, just enough so they can't be discovered but still get their negative experience out there.

In the end I think people should be allowed annonymous comments. No one should believe review sites more than 70% weight anyway. If there are more good than bad comments that's usually a good sign. Some people are retarded and see a couple bad reviews and dismiss the business. That's stupid.

RE: strange
By Jeffk464 on 1/10/2014 1:30:55 PM , Rating: 1
Yup, lawsuits like this show the need for maintaining anonymity online. Basically the internet is the last remaining area of free speech, every other form has pretty much been squelched.

RE: strange
By therealnickdanger on 1/10/2014 2:58:22 PM , Rating: 3
This is not the first time Yelp has been involved in something like this.

First amendment rights have to do with citizens and their relationship to the government, not private business.

Lying about someone's business is defamation and the company has the right to legally hold liable those that publicly defame them.

This is why I don't trust any review on Amazon or Newegg that doesn't confirm that the individual owns the product. It's a shame that people lie and offer false opinions disguised as fact, but that's how people are.

RE: strange
By ClownPuncher on 1/10/2014 3:46:29 PM , Rating: 2
The burden of proof is on the accuser.

RE: strange
By Reclaimer77 on 1/10/2014 4:25:14 PM , Rating: 4
First amendment rights have to do with citizens and their relationship to the government, not private business.

Oh really? Can you please show me where the First Amendment makes that distinction?


Lying about someone's business is defamation

I think you need to be very careful here. What's the difference, intellectually, between the Mac vs PC adds and someone posting a negative review on a website? Now really, just think about it. Aren't they both defamation using your logic?

company has the right to legally hold liable those that publicly defame them.

WOW! It's truly scary you support corporate lawyers going after Joe Shmo because of some online comments they don't like. Seriously!?

I agree with the other guy, the Internet needs to remain free and open, the free speech zone it's always been.

RE: strange
By therealnickdanger on 1/10/2014 5:26:09 PM , Rating: 3
1. " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Congress (the legislative branch of our government) may not limit your freedom of speech. Of course, there are even limits on this - it's still illegal to yell "fire" in certain scenarios or, back on topic, to actively lie about someone (or entity) publically so as to cause damages.

2. I don't have to be careful, case law has proven repeatedly that parodies like the Mac vs PC ads are not libel. Defamation requires proof that something untrue was said/printed, no effort was made to prove its truthfulness, and that the statement/media caused damage. The line between parody and defamation is divided by intent and by what's true.

3. In a so-called civil society, every person must be held accountable for his words and actions. This isn't class warfare, us vs them, this is about keeping things fair as legally possible. Joe Shmo is no more or less deserving of justice than President Obama. Let's not forget that two of America's founders, Secretary Hamilton and VP Burr had a gun battle over this very same topic. It's important.

Free speech doesn't entitle people to be dicks... not major dicks anyway...

RE: strange
By Reclaimer77 on 1/10/2014 5:39:08 PM , Rating: 2
You're leaving out 100+ years of court rulings that affirm First Amendment protections for businesses and organizations. Ooops! Nice try though.

And you know what, you can use all the legalese you want, but in the end you're talking about crushing people for comments made online. Comments that harm nobody, because we all know things said by anonymous people online HAVE to be taken with a grain of salt. I mean, that's just ridiculous!

Get a life, honestly.

RE: strange
By Reclaimer77 on 1/10/2014 5:48:12 PM , Rating: 1
back on topic, to actively lie about someone (or entity) publically so as to cause damages.

You have to prove my comment caused damages. Good luck! People are still innocent until proven guilty last time I checked.

You know what, forget it. Don't you think we have enough people in jail? Enough people forced into bankruptcy or impoverishment? Enough courts and lawyers and goddamn litigation in this country?

But no, what we really need is anonymity forced out of the Internet so corporations can grind people into fine powder for comments they don't like or may be lies!

Joe Shmo is no more or less deserving of justice than President Obama.

How quaint you believe this. If the law was applied as equally to Obama as it does to the Joe Shmo's of the world, the President would already be in jail!

RE: strange
By ClownPuncher on 1/10/2014 5:57:24 PM , Rating: 2
Proof of damages and proof of intent needs to be provided before it could ever become a real court case.

These guys and their "interpretations" of the First Amendment are a bit off. Nothing in there makes it legal to stifle speech on a third party website. If the website was owned by the carpet cleaner guy, sure. But it isn't. The owner of that business has to prove intent, damages, and that these people were not customers. Yelp has no legal obligation to provide names or IP addresses until that happens.

RE: strange
By Reclaimer77 on 1/10/2014 6:07:57 PM , Rating: 1
These guys and their "interpretations" of the First Amendment are a bit off. Nothing in there makes it legal to stifle speech on a third party website.

Exactly! And where does it say in the First Amendment you have some legal obligation to be honest? I guess it's illegal to lie now according to the Millennial way of thinking.

Yelp has no legal obligation to provide names or IP addresses until that happens.

100% agree. Yelp better fight this tooth and nail, or they can just go to hell.

RE: strange
By ClownPuncher on 1/10/2014 6:20:08 PM , Rating: 2
I don't eat at Applebees because the waitstaff smells like dildo pancakes.

RE: strange
By Reclaimer77 on 1/10/14, Rating: 0
RE: strange
By sorry dog on 1/12/2014 11:25:21 AM , Rating: 2
Might wanna be careful there...

The applelites might not see the humor in the defamation of their one true savior and take great offense....and thou shall not sue isn't exactly in ten apple commandments...

RE: strange
By SilthDraeth on 1/12/2014 10:00:57 AM , Rating: 2
Whats a dildo pancake smell like.

RE: strange
By eldakka on 1/12/2014 6:58:12 PM , Rating: 2
And please explain why you are familiar enough with what a dildo pancakes smells like to be able to identify one?

Must be an interesting story ;)

RE: strange
By ClownPuncher on 1/13/2014 12:37:23 PM , Rating: 3
Smells like a latex Belgian waffle drizzled in wookie milk.

RE: strange
By Warwulf on 1/12/2014 7:31:05 AM , Rating: 3

What if I accused you of being a child molester whenever asked if someone should do business with you knowing that it's false? Reviews that tarnish the business reputation are damages in themselves. And if done on knowingly false information (such as bogus reviews), then it is against the law as well.

Claim it is against the 1st Amendment all you wish (that is your Constitutional right, after all). But you are plainly wrong. You say that case law is on your side. I argue, however, that it is not and submit to you this fascinating history of defamation in the United States as presented by an undeniably pro-freedom organization. Your arguments simply do not agree with legal fact and over a hundred years of court decisions (including SCOTUS).

RE: strange
By JTownsIV on 1/12/2014 2:47:11 PM , Rating: 2
This will be a civil suit and not a criminal suit. All a civil suit needs is preponderance of evidence. This is why OJ was "innocent" in Criminal Court, but was held liable in the civil court system. They are not the same.

If the company could show they had a steady flow of business prior to these negative reviews and then there business changed after the reviews, that could be considered a preponderance of evidence. The burden in civil matters is not the same.

RE: strange
By JTownsIV on 1/12/2014 2:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
There is a distinction, the Bill of Rights is rights from the Government. The Government is not able to come in and squash your free speech. Leaving false reviews that have a negative effect on a business is not protected speech under the Constitution.

Now if the government comes to a cell phone company without a warrant or even with a warrant and the cellphone company hands over data illegally, now that company is acting as a Government agent and the Bill of Rights applies.

In this specific case, the grievance is between two private companies and a couple dishonest people. None of them are agents of the government, this is why the first amendment does not apply.

Read below the big part of this is the congress part, it does not say anything about people or private entities.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

RE: strange
By inperfectdarkness on 1/11/2014 3:22:54 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't mean anything. There's a lot of "Certified Purchase" reviews on Amazon that are BS. Like ones where someone complains that a surge protector "stopped working" and is therefore "junk". Nevermind that surge protectors are designed to stop working when they are no longer safe to use...some people just don't get the concept.

I'd really like to go after game reviewers. Those shills have destroyed so much that was once good.

RE: strange
By kmmatney on 1/11/2014 3:43:53 PM , Rating: 2
For the things I buy (not games!) "certified purchase" reviews are great. I take them a lot more seriously that non-certified reviews.

RE: strange
By Arkive on 1/10/2014 1:41:30 PM , Rating: 5

Anonymity is important, but Yelp should give up the posters. You can't stand outside someone's business on public property and yell falsehoods that are damaging to a company without risk of litigation, why should the internet be any different? And why should posters fear revenge from the company? The company could only take action if the customer experiences were fabricated, and what company would risk the PR nightmare of harassing legitimate customers? In the end this only serves to protect the companies who are trying to make an honest name for themselves from unscrupulous competition or others who would seek to defame them for other, probably more personal, reasons.

RE: strange
By Jeffk464 on 1/10/2014 1:59:05 PM , Rating: 4
Nope anyone can file a lawsuit for almost any reason. Put it in front of a dumb jury with a good lawyer and who knows.

RE: strange
By Jeffk464 on 1/10/2014 2:02:09 PM , Rating: 5
In fact just forcing someone to hire a lawyer and defend themselves in court can be very financially damaging to the person in question. Corporations do this to small companies all the time, you can just kill off a smaller company with bogus lawsuits.

RE: strange
By Arkive on 1/10/2014 3:35:24 PM , Rating: 3

My point was, there are only two groups of individuals leaving negative feedback about a company - Legitimate customers with bad (or perceived bad) experiences and those posting false reviews to disparage the company. In the former case it makes NO SENSE to litigate as you stand to gain nothing and lose everything. In the latter case, they deserve it, so let them have their day in court.

RE: strange
By Common_sense on 1/11/2014 11:28:41 AM , Rating: 2
So if you can be sued for posting a negative comment if you are not a customer, Can I then sue people for posting positive comments that have never been customers? If I purchase products, or those false positive comments caused me to do business with a company, shouldn't I be able to go after the people that incorrectly influenced me?

Just trying to point out how crazy this whole thing is.

RE: strange
By Reclaimer77 on 1/11/2014 11:44:10 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you.

This is why we're in the mess we are today. Anytime we have a problem, no matter how small, our first instinct seems to be to get the Government or court system directly involved!

RE: strange
By amanojaku on 1/10/2014 1:54:43 PM , Rating: 4
I'm all for protecting people's privacy, but I've seen a lot of bogus reviews, as well. The way I understand it, however, is that if your review is negative, but legitimate, the reviewed party can't retaliate. On the other hand, if the review is fake, then it puts the reviewed party at risk because potential customers might get turned off.

The question is, how do you determine the legitimacy of the review? I've seen customers post reviews that did not reflect the situation at all. "The owner was rude to me!" No, you were loud, rude to other customers, and made negative remarks about the business' products and services. The owner, much to his/her credit, was simply terse when dealing with you. You left a negative review because he/she didn't kiss your ass, you ass.

I've seen a lot of businesses record incidents in case there is a need to provide evidence for these types of situations. Since sites like Yelp are problematic when attempting to take bogus posts down, a lot of businesses refuse to join it. And, yes, Yelp reviews do have an impact on business revenue:
Indeed, an extra half-star rating caused a restaurant's 7pm bookings to sell out on from 30% to 49% of the evenings it was open for business.

Significantly, the two economists found that the increase in trade happened without any change in prices or the quality of food and service, confirming that it was the reviews that brought in the new customers.
How do online consumer reviews affect markets for experience goods? Using a novel data
set consisting of reviews from the website and revenue data from the Washington State Department of Revenue, I present three key findings: (1) a one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9 percent increase in revenue, (2) this effect is driven by independent restaurants; ratings do not affect restaurants with chain affiliation, and (3) chain restaurants have declined in revenue share as Yelp penetration has increased.

RE: strange
By someguy123 on 1/10/2014 7:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
The whole problem is due to the lack of proof required to post on yelp. People SHOULD be required to prove that they have actually used or went to what they're reviewing. Online reviews are utterly pointless (and constantly falsified by marketing companies) unless they have verification schemes. That said I don't think these guys should be required to take the fall here for an oversight by yelp. They didn't require it so it's not the their fault that they have no proof; it's yelp's.

RE: strange
By Chaser on 1/10/2014 4:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
One one hand Yelp and all review sites are full of BS comments.
I'm a top reviewer on Yelp. I post my experiences so others can be informed. Proprietors can post responses, updates and rebuttals on those sites. If anything it shows the business cares about its customers and their image. Politeness and concern is the most effective counter to possible contrived negative reviews.

By zlandar on 1/10/2014 1:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
After googling the company and Yelp I assume these are the reviews in question:

I don't see any obvious hack jobs unless Yelp already took down the reviews in question.

The business has failed to respond to any of the poor reviews on Yelp.

Not feeling any sympathy for a business who reaches for a lawyer before addressing posted complaints.

RE: Hmm
By bigsnyder on 1/10/2014 2:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
I did see some replies from the company, most of them are dated 5/15/2013. Basically all said the same thing: contact them with contact information and invoice number.

RE: Hmm
By zlandar on 1/10/2014 3:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
I see that now.

I would rather see how the business post how they actually responded and handled the complaint instead of the generic "please contact us".

There are two sides to each story and I want to hear both before making my mind.

RE: Hmm
By Mathos on 1/10/2014 9:10:30 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, look at the cities of the business's. Either this guy travels at super human speed, or he exists in 3 cities in 3 different states hundreds of miles apart all at one time. Just referring to one of the reviewers there, that Asad guy.

RE: Hmm
By Common_sense on 1/11/2014 11:32:59 AM , Rating: 2
Just because the review was "posted" on the same day doesn't mean the services were rendered on that same day. He could have drafted them on his phone and posted them on 8/9/2012.

Just playing devils advocate here

It's Yelp's Problem
By deltaend on 1/11/2014 2:10:20 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see why we should possibly deny free speech just because people are idiots or defaming a company. People are allowed to say whatever comes into their head whenever they want and if they post it anonymously, then they should stay anonymous. Of course, all anonymous posting on the web needs to be taken with a grain of salt so I don't understand why the cleaners are so concerned. Instead of trying to take this to cort, just plaster your YELP page with tons of fake good reviews to compensate until YELP changes the way they do things, thus fixing your problem.

YELP is creating a poor review structure if the reviews are unreliable or unverified but that will eventually lead to their downfall. None of this should have ever ended in court unless there was much more to it.

RE: It's Yelp's Problem
By evo slevven on 1/13/2014 1:06:02 AM , Rating: 2
No it doesn't lead to a failed structure that will "lead to their downfall"; only one needs to be smarter than the other and with the internet you can't assume people will be able to distinguish this stuff.

It's also not a case of "denying free speech" but the responsibility that comes with it which is what a ton of posters here a really missing. Can you yell "fire" in a theater that can have the consequence of having someone seriously injured and/or die? And the smarta@@ reply of "as long as you accept the consequences" don't apply as legal codes and law already say you don't regardless of whatever the first amendment says and that you're liable for doing so as well as breaking the law.

The fact is that all "freedom" have degrees of limitations and business do suffer tons when fake reviews/complaints come out. A lot of times you'd be surprised how it's small-owned businesses that tend to suffer more at the hands of fake reviews and negative feedback versus big business; one can weather the storm the other can't.

Likewise it's equally possible for YELP to sue for putting positive reviews as a violation of the user agreements. Frankly put I used to work in home repairs and remodeling as a side gig; it's like a dentist or a doctor where you don't always get referrals and there isn't exactly a lot to go on other than Googling the individual and hey there's Yelp showing up on the results.

We can all go on with this sh*t; freedom to drink and drive, freedom to text and drive, freedom to punch people in the face. No you never had that freedom and the law likewise says you don't have that freedom.

RE: It's Yelp's Problem
By Schrag4 on 1/13/2014 1:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
I more-or-less agree with you, but I take issue with the fact that you basically said you can never yell fire in a crowded theater. You're forgetting the "unless". For instance, you cannot yell fire in a crowded theater UNLESS the theater is on fire. I think you could even make fringe cases for driving while intoxicated or while texting (think emergencies - you stay put and someone bleeds to death). All this to say, sometimes you have the moral responsibility (not necessarily legal responsibility) to take an action that would actually be criminal if done irresponsibly.

The use of force, deadly or otherwise, is another perfect example. True, you can't simply go around punching people in the face. Same goes for shooting them in the face. However, if they're trying to kill you or your family, the law in most states doesn't mind you using force to defend yourself or others from a credible threat of death or grave injury.

So you don't have the "freedom" in the sense that you can go around doing these things all the time. However, you also aren't stricly forbidden from doing these things either. It just means that if you do these things, you better be able to convince a jury of your peers that you needed to do them in order to protect yourself or others (that it wasn't irresponsible behavior).

By Jeffk464 on 1/10/2014 1:28:52 PM , Rating: 2
If the company doesn't know who they are how do they know they were never customers?

RE: uhm
By bodar on 1/10/2014 5:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
Details in the review. If I'm a small restaurant owner/manager and neither I nor any of my staff remember the guy who complained about broken glass in his pasta last week and was allegedly brushed off by the manager, I can safely assume that the reviewer is full of crap. Sure, maybe my staff is lying to me to protect their own butts, but I can still suspect a false review.

By HangFire on 1/10/2014 3:10:17 PM , Rating: 3
The right to anonymity on-line versus the right to defend your business against slander. That's a tough call.

In theory, Yelp has this "algorithm" that finds bogus reviews and buries them (under a small grey "not recommended" link), and this "algorithm" (yes I am using quotes to invoke doubt) should buy Yelp a good deal of protection from the accusation that they harbor anonymous slander.

In reality, the "algorithm", if it is automated at all, doesn't work well. It buries valid reviews and promotes obviously bogus ones. Yelp has been accused of shaking down vendors by promoting good reviews of advertisers and burying good reviews of non-advertisers. I cannot comment to the truth of this, but from empirical observation of how badly their "algorithm" misses its stated goals, I can see why they have such a horrible reputation for review reliability.

By whackabilly on 1/10/2014 8:43:08 PM , Rating: 3
Any reviewer would think twice about posting on Yelp if they had to reveal their identity.

By MrBlastman on 1/10/2014 1:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
Word of mouth can sink them. If someone crusades to trash your business both in public and online, well, that's libel and slander. True measurable harm can be done to a business this way.

Yelp has already appealed the decision, saying that Hadeed Carpet Cleaning needs to bring more evidence to the table that these are not actual customers before it receives such information. Also, Yelp thinks there should be proof that the comments caused any harm to business.

Look, many of us know that a lot of these reviews are bogus to begin with. Companies hire marketers to write PR for them online, everywhere. Even in the gaming business, companies hire individuals to create fake user accounts and post of forums to drum up support for things.

The fact is, though, it is extremely easy for one malicious individual to create tons of negative PR online with the simplicity of using their mouse and keyboard. These websites that allow posting of reviews--they need to be accountable for these services. If they allow it, they need to work with both parties--the posters on their site and the businesses they are holding information on.

Yelp needs to pony up on this. It isn't a privacy issue at all here.

Many of these review sites are bunk, anyways. Take Angies List. It in my opinion is one of the lowest of the low services out there. I know someone who won an award from them and they gave him a plaque to put in his window. An award is great, right? He got outstanding reviews so he proudly displayed it. Fast-forward a couple years later and he decided to stop paying for their service. What did Angies List do? They threatened to sue him if he didn't take down their award.

An award is won and earned... right? Should the fact you pay for their service in the future effect the validity of an award earned in the past? In Angies case, they sure saw it that way.

I feel no sympathy for Yelp here.

By ArcliteHawaii on 1/10/2014 2:18:12 PM , Rating: 2
After reading the article, I was expecting a bunch of racist reviews and downvotes based on the name of the company "Hadeed Carpet." But it doesn't seem to be the case at all. It looks like regular people had actual, specific issues with the work done by the company. And people who downrated the company for its work actually had positive things to say about them overall, citing their good reputation and community involvement. They were just dissatisfied with price shenanigans or work quality for their experience. It does look like the company attempted to contact the most of the people leaving reviews, positive or negative. We don't know what the result of that is, but if I get disgusted with my experience with a company, it's unlikely I'll contact them. Most likely I will just chalk it up to experience and move on. No need in rehashing the painful experience. Still this is very gray: people had legitimate issues, but it seems like the company made an attempt to contact them.

Joe Hadeed...
By villageidiotintern on 1/10/2014 6:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
...will learn there is no legal remedy for butthurt. The legal industry in Virginia is misguided, and if appeals reach the SCOTUS the Virginia courts will not like their scolding.

By lagomorpha on 1/11/2014 8:58:42 AM , Rating: 2
Rusty Caine, of Beijing, China and Biggus Dickus, of Walla Walla, Washington have been named. So far these men have not been located. Tech experts have suggested the posts may have been made using throwaway email addresses and done through VPNs whatever those are.

fake or marketing reviews
By ptmmac on 1/11/2014 11:33:15 AM , Rating: 2
I am not willing to dig through all the old comments, but I will say that fake reviews should be identifiable. What we really need is someone who can make a verifiable review system. A camera shot of a receipt would be ideal. Yelp should be working on a system like this. The people who do lots of yelp reviews are more reliable, but even that could be faked. Yelp should have shorter life spans for their reviews. Comments from over 24 months ago are not really very helpful.

The problem here is Yelp is simply engaging in profitable gossip, if they can't give more creditable evidence of the honesty of their system. They are making money judging other businesses. They need to be above reproach themselves.

Not at all convinced either that anonymous posts are all harmless. I can't do this in the real world, why should I be able to do it on line?

Never go full retarded
By Strunf on 1/13/2014 8:08:02 AM , Rating: 2
I understand that some company may want to know the name of the bad reviewers however in this day and age they should be careful to not take the spotlight for the wrong reasons. I just went to check the reviews and there are many bad reviews appearing from people just complaining about this whole deal, I don't know how many stars they had before but chances are they have even fewer now, and the bad reputation will stick to them.
Bad reviews are just part of the business, everyone takes on-line reviews with a grain of salt.

By puter_geek_01 on 1/13/2014 4:34:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yelp Court-Ordered to Reveal Identities of 7 Reviewers

Ask the NSA...

Not everyone filters...
By dnoonie on 1/10/2014 9:12:56 PM , Rating: 1
When I read bad reviews I look for things that stick out as fake. Sometimes problems are unavoidable and it's companies that are good at working to solve those problems that are actually the better company in my book.

Some people will never be happy even if they are treated like royalty, unfortunately I know people that are sometimes like that and it's not nice being around them but it's unavoidable...these types of reviews I try to identify and filter out as statistical anomalies.

On the flip side there are also the shill reviews, the ones that are all stars and just too good to be true. These can send up warning flags for me.

But not everyone filters...

Such a fine line....
By Lord Binky on 1/13/2014 9:48:01 AM , Rating: 1
Lying in itself isn't illegal and is only illegal in certain situations.

Just saying lying is what makes the reviews possibly illegal is incorrect.

If the review is lying about a good experience is that illegal? Is it ok because that's marketing or maybe the person that wrote it was just a nice person? Is the review illegal if it isn't completely truthful because one person pissed the review off so they wrote that everyone there is an asshole? If it's illegal to post that you've shopped somewhere when you haven't, is it illegal when you say you have to friends so they shut the hell up about it?

They may conclude the review crossed the line into libel, but up to that point it should be legal. It don't see how if person disliked the color of the establishment's business card so they say the people working there were rude and made them uncomfortable is any less legal than someone who says the people were rude and and made them feel uncomfortable because that person just happens to be a meglomaniac and thinks they should have bowed to the ground as the entered. So they may be crazy or a jerk. But that itself is not illegal.

I get why people think it's wrong, and I think it is too. That doesn't make it illegal though. Not everything that is wrong is illegal, and not everything that's legal is right. I have no clue where people get the idea that a lawful individual is the same as a moral individual.

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