Online Reputation

Consumer Review Fairness Act Signed Into Law

President Barack Obama recently signed the Consumer Review Fairness Act into law. The newly passed law, signed on December 14, 2016, has three main functions. First, it voids provisions in form contracts that limit a person’s right to publish genuine negative reviews online. Second, it voids clauses threatening penalties or fines against the...

How to Remove Search Results Linking to False and Defamatory Content

When people want to learn about a product, service, company or professional, they often go straight to the internet. And, unsurprisingly, a large percentage of people are going directly to search engines. According to PwC’s 2015 Total Retail Survey, of the more than 19,000 people the company surveyed worldwide, 56...

Reporting Harmful Non-Defamatory Google Reviews

It is generally difficult to convince a website to remove defamatory third-party content without a court order. If person A goes to a website and says person B’s statements about him or her are false, how does that website know whether person A is telling the truth? And, even so, how...

How Not to Deal With Negative Online Reviews: Addressing Online Criticism in Light of Pending Federal Legislation on Non-Disparagement Clauses

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the House of Representatives passed H.R.5111, better known as the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016. The Consumer Review Fairness Act is a bipartisan bill aimed at protecting consumers who criticize businesses online. More specifically, the legislation is aimed at prohibiting businesses from inserting language in...

Employers Must Be Careful Using Non-Disparagement Clauses to Discourage Employees’ Negative Online and Social Media Posts

In recent years, there has been backlash against non-disparagement clauses pertaining to online reviews. In particular, those attempting to restrict honest—albeit negative—feedback about companies.  In fact, California passed a law in August 2014 prohibiting anti-negative review policies. Meanwhile the Federal Trade Commission filed its first ever lawsuit over similar non-disparagement clauses...

How Businesses Can Protect Their Executives From Online Reputation Attacks

Businesses are incredibly vulnerable to online reputation attacks.  Virtually anyone with a motive can seriously harm a business’s reputation online.  This issue has been previously framed from a company perspective.  What has not been discussed as much is how company executives are also quite susceptible to being attacked online, and...

Mugshots: Public Interest Versus Privacy Debate, Removal ‘Extortion’

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to rehear its panel’s decision regarding the release of mugshots under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). At issue is whether the mugshots are simply public record, obtainable through FOIA requests, or if there are inherent privacy interests. Mugshots have been historically viewed...

Online Reviews: Ten Things You Should Know

Whether you like them or not, it is hard to ignore online reviews. For many businesses, online review pages and ratings are displayed prominently in Google and Bing searches. And many brick and mortar retail stores have “People Love Us on Yelp” stickers displayed on their doors or windows. Speaking...

Why Your Business’s Online Reputation Matters and How to Protect It

Executives from top businesses around the world have weighed in. And they have indicated that the top risk for their respective companies is their reputation. In 2013, Deloitte released the results of a survey of 300 top management and board members from across the globe. According to the survey results, reputation...

Protecting Your Business’s Reputation on the Internet

According to a recent survey, more consumers are reading online reviews. They are forming opinions more quickly based on those reviews. They are paying close attention to star ratings. And, in general, they are highly trusting of online reviews. These survey results, discussed below, reaffirm just how vulnerable businesses are today...