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Privacy The Courts The Media United States

Court Rules Against Online Anonymity 314

cstacy writes "The Virginia Court of Appeals has ruled (PDF) that people leaving negative feedback for a carpet cleaning service are not allowed to remain anonymous. Yelp must unmask seven critics to the carpet cleaner, who feels that they might not even be real customers."
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Court Rules Against Online Anonymity

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  • And thus ends Yelp. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @12:29PM (#45907219)
    Since the whole point is to give unbiased feed back and the chance of repercussions by definition creates a bias, that's more or less the end of that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 09, 2014 @12:30PM (#45907239)

    You do not have the right to not identify yourself.

    America is rapidly ceasing to be free in all meaningful sense of the word.

    Oh, sure, you can act like you're free. But the reality is, you are rapidly becoming a police state.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 09, 2014 @12:42PM (#45907387)

    Can't support that enough. Here in Germany, they bought a local competitor, and suddenly all the positive reviews disappeared unless you pay for an "advertisement package".

  • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @01:08PM (#45907679)

    There's pretty much four types of reviewers on Yelp, in pretty much this order or volume:

    1) The semi-professional Yelp reviewer. He's writing yelp reviews for every last thing he does.
    2) Shills, inflating their companies and friends, and leaving crap for competitors.
    3) Guys who got a toenail in their lunch who made an account to complain.
    A distant 4) People who had a great meal who felt a need to share.

    If you know this, you can still read between the lines and make informed reviews.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling