Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Getting Sued for Negative Reviews!?

I am guilty of writing negative reviews on certain products, restaurants, businesses, and so on and so forth.
I never in my life though thought that my honest opinions about a particular product, or business though could land me a date in court.
After worrying about a few particular reviews I have written, I wondered...could I really get sued for sharing an honest opinion? Am I protected if I write a negative review? What are my rights? Am I not entitled to share my negative experiences? Am I not entitled to warn others about certain stores or products?
One would think yes...it's just an opinion, and honest opinion. I should be able to share my feelings, no matter how negative they are. So long as I am not cussing, or lying, I should be safe.
I am writing this piece to warn reviewers out there that the possibility of you getting sued for writing a negative review is in fact a reality.
To back up my claim I will be including links to actual stories on those who were sued, or are in the process of being sued for sharing their negative experiences online with others. (This includes bloggers as well).
The first case is where a blogger shared his negative review on a particular book. Now the author of the book is suing him! Read it here.
You can't even review a restaurant anymore without the possibility of worrying about being sued.
Over at this forum, a writer discusses nearly being sued by a restaurant owner, who in turn threatened a lawsuit, and then decided to write his own review about his restaurant! To me this is complete and utter BS! You cannot even share an honest review, without the owner coming on and posting a 'peaches and cream' review in return.
Newspaper writers are not free from these lawsuits either.
There you have it folks, no longer do people want honest opinions. The CONSUMER may want honest opinions, but if you go ahead and give an honest negative opinion you may risk a lawsuit. Is it worth it? Business owners want you to sugar coat everything, and if you don't you may find yourself hiring a lawyer.
So much for freedom of speech ladies and gentlemen.
After learning this, I myself wonder what direction I will go in when I have a negative experience. Do I tell all, or do I skip the review entirely, or do I sugar coat the truth with lies?
I hope reading this gets other reviewers to open their eyes to the consequence of writing negative reviews. Perhaps pooling together to fight against creeps who try and sue others for being honest is in order.
-Be careful what you write. Associated Content may pay you for your piece, but you may end up paying for it yourself in lawyer fees.

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