Yelp Compelled to Hand Over User Data
Article by Peter Black from Fix Bad Reputation.
Anonymous reviews in Virginia have come under fire, this time from the supreme court. Entries made to the popular review website Yelp are part of continued litigation aimed at unmasking anonymous reviewers. Yelp explicitly bans users from making fake reviews, but that doesn’t seem to matter to restaurants and content creators. Some businesses are finding that faked reviews are a necessary evil to stay competitive.
This landmark case will shape the landscape of online reviews for the foreseeable future. The plaintiff in the case claims that he had to spoof reviews just to stay competitive. He further asserted that Yelp failed to deal with these fakes, a fact the company vehemently disputes. It seems that faked reviews have are part of a growing industry designed around reputation management. This court ruling has the potential to forever alter the landscape of reputation review online.
In an article for the magazine Search Engine Journal, Pierre Zarokian of Submit Express offers some insight into these changes. The question remains: will reviews ever gain back the credibility they have lost? Are the courts relying on outdated case law to make their judgment?