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Gabe Osterlund's profile photoJuan Ruiz's profile photoHynek Stehno's profile photoLorrie Arias's profile photo
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If it holds in court, number of negative reviews would fall by 90% or more and then reviews would be useless.
 
How do I know the positive reviews are from actual clients with no relationship whatsoever to the vendor???
 
I think if he can prove in court that she was flat out lying then it is defamation
 
There's a difference between a negative review and accusing someone of stealing. 
 
There are two sides of this. I've read about restaurants being extorted by yelpers demanding free food, etc in exchange for not posting negative reviews. 

Yelp is a valuable service, but like the population, it's not perfect. There exists the possibility of abuse, unlike other review forums (like Amazon) because a vast majority of the businesses listed are small businesses where a bad review or two can be devastating.

There is a part of me that wishes Yelp would figure out a way to vet or self police the most negative of reviews because when people really go all out, it's often because they have some sort of personal axe to grind. I don't know if this woman's jewelry was stolen or not but I do know building and general contractors that have been burned by customers that had planned to defraud them out of payment before jobs have even been started. Most of the time they go to court and at the very least, lose the time that they could be working and income.

It saddens me that the two parties involved let it go this far, but that's the world we live in, I guess.
 
Yeah, there are reasons for lawsuits and this seems like a good example if a "legal" suit. I just would like some kind of commonsensical law basically stating "is it actually worth court time, as well as, if it something seems wrong it usually is and something should happen" like the CEO of Exxon leaving with over 300+ million for retirement some years ago.

This seems fairly legit even though $750,000 seems a little overboard. 
 
As much as I dislike slander, I'm all for free speech.
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I'd sue her ass off too for her bs. 
 
I wonder what will happen when SLAPP starts slamming down over on RottenTomatoes because a movie or a video game got negative reviews ...
 
+Bryan Matias I'm all for free speech, too. The problem is that Yelp is a bit of a free for all and there's no control in terms of whether or not the reviews are factual. Slander sucks, intentional defamation or the attempt to actually damage someone's livelihood is worse.

While I don't know the firm involved in this suit, I know two honest building contractors that do very very good work that have ended up in court because clients have tried to weasel out of payment. In both instances, it came out in court that that was the intent from the beginning.

Negative reviews are one thing, if they're deserved. Ultimately, a negative review is a subjective opinion — and anyone with half a brain takes Yelp with a large grain of salt. Accusing a contractor of stealing jewelry in a public forum is something completely different (assuming, of course, that the contractor is innocent). That's the sort of thing that can put someone out of business. And putting a building contractor out of business means putting multiple people out of work. In light of that, if the contractor is trying to pay his workers for lost work, then, the dollar amount might not be too out of line.
 
+Guille A How do you know the negative reviews are from actual customers and not from people with some non-business grudge? The answer is you really don't know who is reviewing on Yelp or any other site that has reviews. Take 'em with a healthy dose of cynicism...
 
Well, Slander, Defamation, Libel are all crimes if you say them in public, and Yelp, Twitter and such are all public spaces so I dont see why the law should be any different
 
+Mark Hayes It's a very blurry line. Negative criticism is defamation, true or not.  Say though that this person truly believes what she claims (which happens often despite all evidence) - should she be punished by law for voicing such an outrageous opinion?  Furthermore, can a business really be brought down by one yelp review?  I have my doubts.

Don't get me wrong though, I love it when Anonymous administers their own punishment on internet bullies.  People like that do deserve some sort of punishment, but not through court.  Suing those with negative criticisms opens up dozens of others to litigious abuse.  The last thing I would want to see Donald Trump suing someone for claiming that he tried to bulldoze their farm.

PS. Does anyone have the link to the original yelp review?
 
+David Portillo That's assuming the review is true. Again, the main issue in this case is that the woman accused a building contractor of theft. If that's an untrue statement, it is actionable. Additionally, a statement like that in a public, review forum can seriously damage a business, especially in a smaller market.

A lot of the reviews on Yelp are just fine, honest, etc. Some of them are absolute bullshit. 
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