Yelp

News & Analysis as of

Social Links: Yelp’s Communications Decency Act claim; Twitter loosens its character limit; building a Snapchat audience

The California Supreme Court agreed to hear Yelp’s case arguing that requiring the company to remove a one-star review of a law firm “creates a gaping hole” in the immunity that shields internet service providers from suits...more

UPDATE: CA Supreme Court Grants Review of Order Requiring Yelp.com to Remove Negative Reviews of Law Firm Following Determination...

In a case which was the subject of our Alert dated June 22, 2016, the California Supreme Court agreed on September 21, 2016 to review a lawsuit that Yelp.com warns could lead to the removal of negative reviews on the popular...more

Yelp Seeks Dismissal of Consumer Privacy Lawsuit

Last Tuesday, the federal district court for the Northern District of California held oral arguments on a motion for summary judgment filed by Yelp in a consumer privacy lawsuit involving other prominent technology companies,...more

Controversial California Court Decision Significantly Narrows a Crucial Liability Safe Harbor for Website Operators

A recent California court decision involving Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) is creating considerable concern among social media companies and other website operators....more

Advertising Law - August 2016 #2

Electric Toothbrushes Battle It Out Before NAD - In a battle over electric toothbrushes, the National Advertising Division determined that Procter & Gamble can support superiority claims for its Oral-B models challenged...more

Social Links: Twitter’s tough quarter; Yelp warns users about litigious dentist; Pinterest battles Snapchat

Instagram now allows celebrities to block trolls. The rest of us will have to continue trying to ignore Instagram trolls. While Facebook reached new highs last quarter, Twitter continued to stumble. Will adding more live...more

Non-Party Yelp Ordered to Remove Defamatory Reviews

In 2012, attorney Dawn Hassell represented Ava Bird for a period of 25 days related to a personal injury she suffered. Bird expressed dissatisfaction with the representation and Hassell withdrew from the representation....more

Report Warns Providers of HIPAA Violations When Responding to Negative Online Reviews

ProPublica, a public interest investigative newsroom, recently identified more than 3,500 one-star medical reviews on Yelp in which patients complained about privacy issues. ProPublica determined that “in dozens of instances,...more

Disgruntled Online Reviews of Attorney by Disgruntled Former Client Ordered Removed from Yelp.com

The Court of Appeal of the State of California – First Appellate District in Hassell v. Bird (6/7/16 – Case No. A143233) affirmed an order from a judgment in favor of an attorney and her firm and against a disgruntled former...more

Rejecting First Amendment And Communications Decency Act Arguments, California Appellate Court Affirms Order Requiring Non-Party...

In a published decision filed on June 7, 2016 in Dawn Hassell v. Ava Bird, Case No. A143233, the Court of Appeals for the State of California, First Appellate District, determined that the trial court’s order requiring Yelp...more

Non-Disparagement, The Magna Carta And Yelp

Disparagement isn’t what it used to be. In the good old days, disparagement meant a marriage to a social inferior. The word itself is derived from the Old French word Old French, desparagier, meaning to degrade. The...more

Pitfalls in Managing Online Reputations

Whether you represent sports stars and high-profile entertainers, or hometown doctors, architects, and restaurateurs, you have almost certainly gotten calls in the past several years asking for your help in dealing with...more

Study Finds Widespread HIPAA Violations Occurring on Yelp

It is no secret that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a trap for the unwary. A recent study by the non-profit ProPublica has uncovered that the online review site Yelp (as well as other...more

Don’t Worry, Be (Un)Happy: Does U.S. Labor Law Protect a Worker’s Right to a Bad Attitude?

A few months ago, we noted that a Yelp employee’s online “negative review” of her employer might be protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), given that the National Relations Labor Board (NLRB) has...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

Personal Gripes v. Protected Concerted Activity: Where To Draw The Line Regarding An Employee’s Job-Related Complaint On Social...

threshold questionBy now, many people have heard about the Yelp/Eat24 employee who published a rant last month on social media platform Medium addressed to Company CEO Jeremy Stoppelman relating to how her entry-level...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review - March 2016

Last week, Vitality Group, a health services firm, announced a new program designed to lower healthcare costs for its clients. Employees of a handful of companies, including John Hancock, Amgen, and others, will get a chance...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

Encouraging Employee Complaints. Yes, We’re Serious.

Last Friday, a Yelp employee posted an open letter to her CEO, describing how her customer service job in San Francisco does not pay enough to allow her to buy groceries or see a doctor. Within 24 hours of posting the letter...more

How Would You Rate Yelp As An Employer?

How many stars would you give Yelp as an employer? Read on! I’m sure you’ve all heard by now about Talia Ben-Ora, the Yelp employee who was trying to live in the San Francisco area working as a minimum-wage customer...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

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

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

That is SO last week - October 2015

Last week saw a lot of media coverage about “Yelp for People.” The app, called Peeple, allows users to rate friends, co-workers, and romantic partners based on a five-star rating system. Recruiters could review the ratings...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

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