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Court rules anonymous Yelp trolls must be identified

14
Jan
2014

Last year, Joe Hadeed found seven anonymous negative reviews for his carpet cleaning business on Yelp. Unable to verify that the reviewers were actual customers, he sued them and subpoenad Yelp to identify them. Yelp saw this as a violation of its reviewers’ right to free speech and refused to identify them. Yelp was then held in contempt of court. The case went to a Virginia appeals court, and last week Judge William Petty ruled that Yelp must reveal the identity of the seven reviewers, according to Courthouse News. Petty agreed that “a Yelp review is entitled to First Amendment protection because it is a person’s opinion about a business that they patronised.” However, since the reviews appeared to be

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