In other words, who is writing those negative reviews??? This question has plagued many a Matador Solutions client, and it’s an extremely fair point of discomfort.
In the vast majority of cases, the court has determined that the right to free speech precedes Yelp sharing any information or even being liable for anything. In this case, it would seem an interesting argument is being made on behalf of privacy. Sure, someone can say anything that they want, but is it also necessarily true that they can do so under complete anonymity? Historical precedent in terms of whistleblowers, for example, suggests yes.
But maybe not. Either way, if Yelp is forced to share the personal identities of those who leave negative reviews, there will be enormous implications for your ability as a business owner or manager to manage your online reputations.
I mean, is there a chance Yelp reviews are being left by your competitors or disgruntled employees?
Well, there’s definitely a chance. Go find out!