Companies Suing Over Bad Yelp Reviews Could Be Banned

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(Photo by Spencer Platt//Getty Images)

(Photo by Spencer Platt//Getty Images)

By Nadia Noir

Did Sally S. slam your chicken shack on Yelp? Well, lots of small businesses try to sue for bad Yelp Reviews, but according to a new proposal, suing over someone’s public (and possibly slanderous) opinion of you might be banned.

According to the LA Weekly, a Los Angeles-based Assembly Speaker, John A. Perez, will make it against the law to sue customers “for making any statement regarding the consumer’s experience.”

So, irate Yelpers have the right to free speech and businesses can’t retaliate unless you “knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waived his or her right to do so.”

These “terms of use” that most of us accept without reading, unless you are like a sharp-as-a-tack 90-year-old who trusts no one, will be the main sticking point of this band.

A spokesperson for Perez, John Vigna, explained further:

“It is aimed essentially at the language that’s buried in terms of use agreements that most people would just click everyday. We all do that, essentially. But these are potentially unenforceable. This bill clarifies state law and says, ‘No, you can’t do that.’

… An actual contract that was negotiated would be considered fair game under this legislation, but it goes beyond that. Simply adding a provision into the terms of use wouldn’t satisfy the standard in this bill …”

Businesses that try to sue could face fines up to $10,000, depending on the violation.

The whole thing is confusing, but we’re thinking this basically means companies should step off and let people feel all their feels and think all their thinks.

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