David Lilenfeld Blog The intellectual property blog of David Lilenfeld


Before You Leave an Online Review, Consider This

By David Lilenfeld on January 22, 2016

When we experience bad service or a bad product, an immediate reaction is often to leave a negative review for the business online.  In a fury, a review can exaggerate what happened, and certainly only show one side’s perspective.  Such reviews can proliferate online and be very impactful.  Some companies have responded by threatening lawsuits for defamatory reviews – that is, for reviews that are not entirely truthful.

What is even more concerning is that not long ago, a court in the Commonwealth of Virginia ordered Yelp to turn over the names of seven of its users who left negative reviews for a carpet cleaning company.  Historically, people felt comfortable speaking critically online because their identities were hidden behind screen or user names.  But this ruling can change that.

The best way to protect yourself is to act in good faith and not exaggerate in your review.  Truth is always the best defense against a defamation claim.

David Lilenfeld


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