(jdong)

California Supreme Court To Review Yelp’s Case For Not Removing Allegedly Defamatory Reviews

Two months after a California appeals court attempted to put an end to a years-long dispute between a lawyer and a former client she accused of posting defamatory reviews by ordering Yelp to take down the comments, the Supreme Court of California unanimously agreed to hear an appeal of the case. [More]

No, Yelp’s Star Ratings Don’t Make It Liable For Bad Reviews

No, Yelp’s Star Ratings Don’t Make It Liable For Bad Reviews

Federal law generally protects websites from liability for content posted by third parties, otherwise online review platforms like Yelp would need to vet every single review before it gets published. But a small-business owner in Washington believes Yelp is liable because of its star ratings and because Yelp reviews can end up on Google search results. [More]

House Passes Bill Outlawing “Gag Clauses” That Try To Punish Customers For Writing Negative Reviews

Jennifer Moo

We’re nearing the finish line for a piece of legislation that will make it illegal for companies to put so-called “gag orders” in their customer contracts to prevent consumers from sharing their honest opinions with the rest of the world. [More]

Petsitter Loses $1 Million Lawsuit Over Negative Yelp Review

photo: colonelchi

The six-month saga of the Texas petsitter who sued a customer for up to $1 million in damages over a negative Yelp review appears to have come to an end, with a judge agreeing to dismiss the case that made national headlines. [More]

Great Beyond

Yelp, TripAdvisor Not Happy With Google’s New Critics’ Review Search Results

TripAdvisor and Yelp, two of the biggest names in crowdsourced reviews, say that Google is using its position as the dominant online search engine to push Google-backed reviews ahead of links to review sites. [More]

Yelp Explains Why It’s Flagging “Questionable Legal Threats” In Reviews

Yelp Explains Why It’s Flagging “Questionable Legal Threats” In Reviews

A couple months ago, while writing an update to the ongoing saga of the Texas couple being sued for writing a negative Yelp review about their petsitter, we noticed that Yelp had flagged the petsitter’s page with an alert that this particular review was being challenged in court. Now the company is going a step further, flagging reviews that have led to “Questionable Legal Threats.” [More]

jdong

Yelp Ordered To Remove Allegedly Defamatory Reviews Of Law Firm

Two years after a California lawyer won a default judgment against a former client accused of posting defamatory reviews of the law firm on Yelp, those reviews remained online. However, this week a California appeals court ruled that Yelp must finally remove these reviews.  [More]

Couple That Was Sued For $1M Over Yelp Review Asks Court To Dismiss Lawsuit

Couple That Was Sued For $1M Over Yelp Review Asks Court To Dismiss Lawsuit

For months, we’ve been following the saga of the Texas couple who were first sued by their petsitter for $6,766 over a negative Yelp review, only to have that case dropped and re-filed as a full-on defamation lawsuit seeking up to $1 million in damages. Now, the couple is asking the court to just throw the entire case out because it should be prohibited by Texas state law. [More]

Fujoshi Bijou

Some Health Providers Are Sharing Patients’ Info Online In Reaction To Bad Yelp Reviews

Now that we live in a world where it seems everything can be rated — from your restaurant experience to your root canal — privacy issues are popping up in unexpected places. Like in health care providers’ responses to negative reviews from patients on Yelp, for example.

[More]

Petsitter Now Suing Couple For Up To $1 Million For Negative Yelp Review

Petsitter Now Suing Couple For Up To $1 Million For Negative Yelp Review

A couple months back, we told you of the Texas couple that was being sued for a few thousand dollars by a petsitter over a negative Yelp review that allegedly violated a “non-disparagement” clause in the petsitter’s contract. That suit was quickly dropped, but a new complaint filed by the petsitting business has ramped up the allegations and the dollar amount, now seeking between $200,000 to $1 million in damages. [More]

Michael Daddino

Facebook, Reddit, Wells Fargo, Bank Of America CEOs Among Those Urging North Carolina To Repeal New Anti-LGBT Law

Earlier this month, in a hurried legislative process, North Carolina lawmakers passed HB2, a bill that overrides and prevents local governments from establishing anti-discrimination rules against gay and transgender people. This morning, advocacy groups delivered a letter to NC Gov. Pat McCrory signed by top executives from more than 100 companies, all calling for the state to repeal the law. [More]

Petsitter Sues Couple For $6,766 Over Negative Yelp Review

Petsitter Sues Couple For $6,766 Over Negative Yelp Review

So you hired a pet sitter to take care of your companions while you were out of town, but you weren’t happy with the service you received. You’re free to go online and publicly share your thoughts about that experience, as long as what you write is truthful. But you still might be sued by that pet sitter if your contract included a clause forbidding you from posting anything negative about the company. [More]

Netflix “Making A Murderer” Documentary Inspires Viewers To Seek Justice… Through Yelp

Netflix “Making A Murderer” Documentary Inspires Viewers To Seek Justice… Through Yelp

Netflix recently premiered a 10-part true-crime documentary Making A Murderer, about controversial murder investigation in Wisconsin. Some viewers of the show have been so moved by what they’ve watched that they’re forming virtual picket lines on Yelp and other review sites. [More]

Facebook Taking On Yelp, Angie’s List To Provide Users With Highly-Rated Professional Services

Facebook Taking On Yelp, Angie’s List To Provide Users With Highly-Rated Professional Services

Finding a reliable service provider can be a test of patience for some consumers, despite sites like Angie’s List and Yelp that aim to connect customers with local professionals focused on repairs, installations, or other jobs around the house. Facebook thinks it has what it takes to make the quest for a dependable handyman, lawn care service, plumber, and other local businesses with its new “Professional Services” feature.  [More]

Google provided this example of what its new services ad function will look like.

Google Adds Paid Home Service Provider Suggestions To Search Results For “Clogged Toilet,” “Plumber”

Less than a year after Amazon took on the likes of Angie’s List, Yelp and other companies that can connect consumers to professional service providers like plumbers, locksmiths, electricians and others, Google announced it would join the fray by adding prescreened service providers to its sponsored search results. [More]

You Can Now Rate And Review U.S. Government Services On Yelp

You Can Now Rate And Review U.S. Government Services On Yelp

The wait time to get customer support from the Internal Revenue Service is stretching on into infinity. The Transportation Security Administration agents at one particular airport checkpoint always seem to have it out for you. There’s one particular bathroom at Yellowstone National Park that is the best and everyone should know about it. Whatever your experience with U.S. government services, you can now review it on Yelp.

[More]

Federal Judge Applies Common Sense, Decides Yelp Reviewers Are Not Employees

Federal Judge Applies Common Sense, Decides Yelp Reviewers Are Not Employees

Last year, we shared the news that a group of Yelp reviewers whose accounts had been deactivated were suing the website for back wages. The ex-reviewers claimed that they had performed the functions of an employee, with guidance and critique from Yelp management, by providing content that the site could sell ads against. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg dismissed the case last week [More]

photo: colonelchi

A Year After Restaurant Owner Asked Me To Change Yelp Review, Things Got Weird

You may remember reader Mark, who left a bad Yelp review for a local tavern back in 2013, then received a request from the business’s new owner asking him to change or remove the review. Mark declined. That was a year ago: the owner apparently went through his Yelp inbox recently to rage at correspondents. Here is our gift to small business owners: another cautionary tale about how not to handle your online presence. [More]