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Old 12-07-2012, 11:03 AM   #1
Site Team - Lou
 
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 21,162
Guidance - Gripes, Reviews, and Rants

There has been lots of discussion about what is acceptable speech and what is prohibited speech here on the forum. As always the moderators have the final say.

While the FAQ section has guidelines and rules, I am watching a recent lawsuit for damages (for loss of business) of several hundred thousand dollars against a person who posted "reviews" of a contractor on two "for fee" contractor review boards (Yelp and Angie's list).

The upshot was the "review" was a mix of true facts, differences of opinion, and a small number "truth stretches", and at least one innuendo of theft of jewelry that is now in court to be decided if any of the post is libel. So far the court has directed that the posts be taken down until the issue is decided.

The definition used by the court to determine whether the review is a crime or not, hinges on whether any part of the statement was false and caused damage to the reputation of the contractor.

"A false statement of fact that damages some one's reputation"

For example, if you say:

"They damaged my camper when they fixed it" is libel when it is only your opinion that they did so. If the damage is obvious to anyone who looks at it; then it is not libel and is allowed.

Even hiding behind "In my opinion they damaged my camper" won't work, if the dealer can prove that they did not damage it.

Defamation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Many groups from "free speech" advocates and through contractor support groups have weighed in on the subject and the issue will be an expensive one to settle. I will re-post as I learn more about the case.
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