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Anonymous Yelp reviewers outed in Virginia court ruling

10
Jan
2014

Whether several scathing reviews posted to a local Virginia carpet cleaning business were actually from real customers could turn out to be a watershed moment for staying anonymous on Yelp, which has been asked by local a Virginia appeals court judge to name real names. Under Virginias legal standard, anonymous parties need to be named if it might be defamation, which resulted in two of the three judges presiding over the case to rule that Yelp needs to turn over that information. The ruling marks the end of the controversial suit that was filed by owner Joe Hadeed against the Yelp users in July 2012. The case brought immediate attention for possibly violating first amendment free speech rights, something Yelp argued in its briefs.

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