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Posts Tagged ‘fake reviews’

Yelp Going to the Virginia Supreme Court for its Fake Reviews

yelpHaven’t we been here before?

It seems like it was just March 21 when we brought a #PRFail editorial about Yelp and its fake reviews. In the post, we brought three lawsuits to your attention under the premise of Yelp’s plight of “free speech debate” could cause some serious drama for the ubiquitous ratings and reports website.

Whelp, we should have called Vegas because Yelp is in the news about its reviews. You know? Again. And this time, they are visiting the highest court in the land cloaking itself in the warm embrace of the First Amendment. (Well, highest court in Virginia, but you get the point. The s#!t is about to hit the fan.)

Good luck with that…  Read more

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Common Yelp Lawsuits May Cause Serious #PRFail

hateyelpIn the land of the free to sue anyone they want and home of the brave lawyers with no scruples to take their money, frivolous lawsuits are no stranger to the U.S. Justice System. Much to the detriment of good legal beagles out there, these lawsuits kill the reputations of so many things.

And now, they may kill Yelp all together.

The crowdsourcing website for reviews, scorn, honesty, and trolls has been in the courts of ‘Merica one too many times. However, these last few cases may have legal experts reconsidering how review websites are beneficial when so many people abuse them.

For example…

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New York State Fines ‘Reputation’ Firms in Fake Review Crackdown

I always feel like somebody's watching me...Last week a study revealed the importance of making sure that the first review for your client’s product is a good one. But if you’re based in New York State, you’ll have to be careful in soliciting positive feedback: Attorney General/consumer advocate Eric T. Schneiderman just helped enact the “most comprehensive crackdown to date on deceptive reviews on the Internet.”

The state’s yearlong investigation led to agreements (aka fines) with 19 companies including some of the best-known sources for online reviews as well as “reputation-enhancement firms” paid to astroturf for clients on sites like Google, Yahoo!, and Yelp.

Get ready for a fake shock: this practice went well beyond your typical restaurant and book reviews to ensnare doctors, lawyers and even “an ultrasound clinic”. The state conducted its research in classic undercover style, with an investigator posing as a business owner who suffered from negative write-ups and wanted his online reputation managed more aggressively.

Investigators found plenty of parties willing to lie for a price. Reputation firms at home and abroad didn’t just crank out reviews at a dollar-per-post rate—they also paid existing customers for more positive write-ups and even “went on review sites that criticized their own fake-review operations and wrote fake reviews denying they wrote fake reviews.”

Take a moment to read that sentence again.

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