Consumer Reviews May be Protected by Anti-SLAPP Laws

Anti-SLAPP laws should serve to further give a potential plaintiff pause when considering a civil action for negative online reviews and comments

Michael T. Smith for Inside Counsel

Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising, second only to “earned media” such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, according to a recent Nielsen report. Managing a company’s online reputation understandably is of prime importance, but one of the challenges of doing so is how best to mitigate damage from a negative consumer review or comment without further harming the brand. Overcoming this challenge is made more difficult by the tendency of some to pursue legal action as a first course of action rather than as a last resort. A growing body of case law should serve as a warning, however, to companies considering litigation to combat negative online traffic.

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