Online Reviews

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Socially Aware: The Social Media Law Update Volume 7, Issue 3

How To Protect Your Company’s Social Media Currency - Today’s companies compete not only for dollars but also for likes, followers, views, tweets, comments and shares. “Social currency,” as some researchers call it, is...more

Negative Reviews? Call A Lawyer – But Maybe Not Right Away

In our increasingly narcissistic culture, not only is everyone a critic, but everyone thinks their opinion is of the utmost importance. Smartphones permit us to instantaneously inform everyone of our day-to-day activities via...more

A Negative Review May Be Protected Activity Under U.S. Employment Law

Yelp, Inc. is more accustomed to being on the giving—rather than the receiving—end of a negative review. That changed recently when a Yelp customer service employee, Talia Ben-Ora, posted an open letter to Yelp’s CEO on her...more

News of Note for the Internet-Minded – 3/9/16

A virtual reality refresher course; Google and privacy concerns; Snapchat visits the dugout; WeChat has some homework for Chinese student; and more…...more

German Federal Supreme Court specifies monitoring duties of online rating portals

In a Judgment dated 1 March 2016, case no. VI ZR 34/15, the German Federal Supreme Court (“FSC”; Bundesgerichtshof – BGH) specified the scope of monitoring duties of an online rating portal for medical professionals in...more

Won’t You Please, Please Yelp Me?

Yelp, I need somebody - Yelp, not just anybody - Yelp, you know I need someone - Yelp! My apologies to the Beatles. But the notion that one can’t do it alone and expect to be protected, may just be an apt moral in today’s...more

NAD Decision Addresses Endorsements from Product Testers

This week, the NAD published a decision involving an infomercial for the Shark Rocket DeluxePro vacuum. Although the decision covers several issues – including comparative claims, product demonstrations, and consumer...more

Defamation: Internet Crisis Control

Arriving at his warehouse last week Knott Faire, owner of Faire Carpet Cleaning, discovered yet another complaining critique posted on WELP: “Lots of hype, a mediocre cleaning and a hassle at the end. Don’t get tied up with...more

Congress Acts to Ban Gag Clauses in Consumer Contracts

There is not a lot that all members of the U.S. Senate can agree on these days, but protecting the ability of consumers to write reviews of businesses is apparently an issue on which there is unanimity. First some background....more

Amazon Pursued Fake Reviews In 2015, What Will It Pursue In 2016?

In 2015, Amazon filed suit against over 1,000 unnamed individuals for allegedly offering to sell fake online reviews (positive or negative) on Fiverr.com (“Fiverr”). The unnamed defendants offer to provide 5-star reviews and...more

Consumer Review Freedom Act of 2015 Wins Support of Every Senator

There isn’t much that all members of the U.S. Senate can agree on these days, but protecting the ability of consumers to write reviews of businesses has emerged as a uniting issue. The Senate voted unanimously December...more

Frying Small Potatoes: Will Amazon’s Pursuit of Individual Fake-Review Writers Pay Off?

Amazon’s customer reviews have long been a go-to resource for consumers researching prospective purchases. Unfortunately, fake customer reviews—product critiques commissioned by merchants and manufacturers in an effort to...more

Online Negativity: How to Fight Back

The internet is a powerful channel for communication, with great strengths compared to other media. It has been referred to as the "largest public space in human history”. Internet communications can reach an unlimited...more

NAD Addresses Reviews Incentivized by a Sweepstakes

One maker of insect-control products (United Industries Corporation) challenged claims made by another maker of similar products (The Scotts Company) at the NAD. Among the issues in the challenge was a sweepstakes that Scotts...more

The New “Yelp.com” for the Consumer Finance Industry

Since the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) in 2010, the CFPB has been accepting consumer complaints regarding financial services companies, and has been publishing data regarding these complaints...more

More Local SEO Tips for Lawyers

Focusing on a local SEO strategy just makes sense for lawyers. Most of the time attorneys are going after a narrow regional market and having a strong presence on the web for local searchers is very important. As time goes...more

Online Endorsements and “Astroturfing”

Having warned consumers: “Don’t buy into fake online endorsements” last year, the Competition Bureau sent a strong message to the media and marketing industry against astroturfing yesterday.  The Bureau announced that it has...more

Socially Aware: The Social Media Law Update Volume 6, Issue 4

Five social media law issues to discuss with your clients - The explosive growth of social media has clients facing legal questions that didn’t even exist a few short years ago. Helping your clients navigate this...more

Status Updates: People-rating app proves unpopular; new tech automates compelling-photo selection; Twitter 101 for the political...

Bad reviews. On September 30th, the soon-to-be-launched app Peeple was described by the app’s co-founder, Julia Cordray, as a “Yelp for people,” that is, a people-rating platform that would allow users to assign number...more

Jeepers, Creepers: The Launch of the New “Peeple” App and Privacy Concerns

It’s 12:43 in the morning, and you have had a tough day at work. You are tired, thinking slowly, and feeling a little anxious that you should already be in bed to catch some rest before a 6 a.m. wake-up call. And then you get...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Franchise Systems Can Fight Online Negativity

One of today's challenges faced by franchisors and franchise systems is negative remarks posted online by a customer, ex-employee, or even a dissatisfied franchisee. Negative comments appear in sites created specifically to...more

Businesses rejoice but poster beware: Yelp ordered to identify anonymous reviewer

Many business have suffered the misery and frustration of a harshly negative, anonymous online review. That anonymity, critics argue, frees the reviewer from worries about the need for accuracy and, worse yet, encourages the...more

Judge Orders Yelp to Identify Anonymous Negative Commenter

On September 15, a judge in Boston ruled that Yelp must reveal the identity of an anonymous commenter who wrote a negative review of a jeweler on the online review site. The order to non-party Yelp in the attempted...more

Can you be sued for posting your opinions on the Internet?

A restaurant tells customers it may sue them if they post unfavorable reviews on the Internet. A flooring company sues a customer who complained on social media that he had an “absolutely horrible experience” with the...more

Status Updates: Appeals court upholds anti-cyberbullying law; better marketing through neural networks; restaurant owner turns the...

Cruel intentions. Laws seeking to regulate speech on the Internet must be narrowly drafted to avoid running afoul of the First Amendment, and limiting such a law’s applicability to intentional attempts to cause damage usually...more

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