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The Legality of Online Reviews When They Cross the Line [Video]

We’ve discussed online reviews including a three part series on being proactive and whether to sue, how to unmask an anonymous person and the risks involved with Anti-SLAPP.

Andrew Horansky of local CBS affiliate, KHOU, ran a story last night about companies fighting back.  

Here’s an interesting related story from this morning’s NPR’s Morning Edition entitled Five Ways to Spot A Online Review, Restaurant or Otherwise.  Here are the five tips in the article:

  1. Compare reviews not only within a site, but across different websites.
  2. Reviews by people who are verified by the site are more trustworthy than reviews by anonymous reviewers — especially when it comes to negative reviews.
  3. Read reviews less for whether they give a hotel or a restaurant one star or five stars, but more for the specific information they give about the experience.
  4. Reviews are very useful for information that experts or merchants might not think to provide — how late a swimming pool stays open could be useful if you are traveling with a family.
  5. Focus on aggregates, not outliers. You can’t trust a handful of bad reviews or glowing reviews, but trends are much harder to fake.

I have never done an online review where I actually leave a comment.  I am suspicious of anyone who has five glowing reviews and nothing negative.  I would rather see a few 5-star reviews, a lot of 4-stars and one or two negative reviews because it suggests some legitimacy.  Perhaps, I should start leaving online reviews:

“This post was life changing.  I learned so much and feel like I became a man of the world.  I don’t need law school thanks to this post.  I lost weight, I sleep better.  I ran a sub-four minute mile and can now speak seven foreign languages.  I’m a better person and this is a better world because of this post.” — TC

That looks legit.