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Will Anonymous Yelp Reviews Become A Thing Of The Past? | DrivingSales News

Will Anonymous Yelp Reviews Become A Thing Of The Past?

June 19, 2014 0 Comments


For consumers, Yelp has become a trusted brand in the online review space. However, part of what has become a consistent user experience, may soon change. A court case in Virginia seeks to force Yelp to reveal the identity of reviewers. We reported back in April, that Hadeed Carpet in Alexandria, Virginia is suing Yelp to gain the identity of reviewers responsible for seven negative and what Hadeed Carpet contends are false, reviews of their company.

In this lawsuit, the general concern from Yelp, who is being defended by the Public Citizen Litigation group, is the creation of online speech standards. The concern is that forcing those and other future anonymous reviewers to reveal their identify would limit the first amendment rights of reviewers to do so anonymously. Hadeed Carpet contends that the reviewers were never actually customers and that the reviews were intended to damage their company reputation and did not represent a review of their services.

For a look at this, the negative reviews in question are currently on display on Hadeed Carpet’s Yelp listing. Under each negative, and for all intents and purposes, long negative review, Mike Hadeed asks each reviewer for their contact information in order to respond to their negative review. Whether or not Hadeed gets to know the identify of the reviewers, or have the capacity to receive such information from Yelp, will be decided by Virginia Supreme Court later this year.

Car Dealers will likely be watching the outcome of this case closely. Yelp reviews can prove problematic for them as much as any other business. The ability for reviewers to leave anonymous reviews causes concerns, that like Hadeed claims, reviews of an automotive dealership could come from anyone who has an axe to grind against a certain store. The precedent created in this case will impact what will surely be future lawsuits in a digital realm that includes a growing online review space.

Do you care about this outcome? Have you ever had a negative Yelp Review about your store that you don’t feel is legitimate?

Filed in: General Marketing • Tags: ,

About the Author:

The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.

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