New Law Protects Online Reviewers
- Created: Monday, 06 February 2017 12:43
A new federal law may cause more problems for businesses attempting to deal with unfair negative online reviews. Business owners already face a number of hurdles in addressing or removing fake or unfair online consumer reviews. The Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016, which was signed into law by President Obama in December, makes certain terms of form contracts void if the terms prohibit or restrict a consumer from engaging in a review of a business’s goods, services, or conduct.
There are exceptions to the restrictions, including employer-employee contracts and individually negotiated agreements. Businesses also maintain the right to pursue a civil cause of action based on libelous consumer reviews or public slander, and can remove certain negative reviews from their own websites. Other exceptions include protection against dissemination of trade secrets, medical information, law enforcement records, unlawful content, and content containing computer viruses.