Negative Yelp Review to Cost Woman $750,000?

Guest post Provided by Reputation stars

Defamation lawsuits brought on by social media and review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are on the rise, lawyers paying attention say. What’s going on? It seems that more people are taking to social media and online review sites to express their opinions at the same time that people are becoming more aware of the importance of keeping their online reputation in tiptop shape. Are you keeping track of every Yelp review or social media post written about you or your business?

Take a look at what happened in Fairfax, Virginia last month. Christopher Dietz, who owns a construction and design business, sued Jane Perez for $750,000 after she left him negative reviews on multiple sites, including Yelp. Perez was Dietz’s client, but the pair had been high school classmates. That shared history did not spare them the public vitriol that went both ways.

Dietz’s won the suit and a judge ordered Perez to remove parts of review. Making false factual statements about another person is against the law in Virginia. Perez’s lawyers contended that it is a matter of free speech, but that did not prevail. Keep in mind that laws governing social media comments are still in their earliest stages. How do you handle your online reputation management?