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The Courts Businesses Electronic Frontier Foundation

Appeals Court Clears Yelp of Extortion Claims 63

Posted by timothy
from the 5-stars-for-marsha-berzon dept.
jfruh writes A U.S. appeals court cleared Yelp of charges of extortion related to its interaction with several small businesses who claim Yelp demanded that they pay for advertising or face negative reviews. While Yelp says it never altered a business rating for money, the court's finding was instead based on a strict reading of the U.S. extortion law, classifying Yelp's behavior as, at most, "hard bargaining." Interestingly, the EFF supported Yelp here, arguing that "Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) protects online service providers from liability and lawsuits over user-generated content, except in very narrow circumstances where the providers created or developed content themselves. In its amicus brief, EFF argued that mere conjecture about contributing content – like there was in this case – is not enough to allow a lawsuit to go forward."
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Appeals Court Clears Yelp of Extortion Claims

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  • by brunes69 (86786) <<gro.daetsriek> <ta> <todhsals>> on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @08:11AM (#47815877) Homepage

    Yelp used to be my go-to app for restaurant reviews when in another city, but I find the quality of content on it has gone WAY downhill with things being very stale. While on a recent vacation, on THREE separate occasions Yelp sent me to a store that was closed, some of them for months.

    Personally, I have switched to the Tripadvisor app, where I find the content is much more highly curated and the community is much more active.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @08:19AM (#47815909)

    Who could even trust a company that has no bad reviews? I find it impossible for any establishment to be universally liked, even if the sample group is only people who would both go to that business and post on Yelp.

    Personally, the bad reviews are where I look to find out the worst parts of a product or business, and if their worst parts aren't really so bad then I'm more likely to buy.

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