Q. Are customer comments posted on consumer review websites protected speech under the First Amendment or are individuals who post opinions potentially subjecting themselves to a libel lawsuit?
A. While the First Amendment protects us from the limitation of our right to free speech by the government, it doesn’t protect us from the consequences of false speech through a libel or defamation action. While anyone is free to publish a negative review, they should be prepared to establish that the review is truthful. Truth is an absolute defense to a defamation action.
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