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[WSJ] Yelp Reviews Brew a Fight Over Free Speech vs. Fairness

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by YallMean, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. bongman

    bongman Member

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    I believe some folks already mentioned it. Accountability, just in case a reviewer posted something libelous.
     
  2. Major

    Major Member

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    As much as I'm not a fan of Yelp (as a business owner) and constantly get barraged by their attempts to sell ads, this is almost definitely not true. To do it at any useful scale, you'd need a ton of employees involved, and all it would take is one disgruntled employee to bring down an entire public company.
     
  3. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    But, why? Since when that is a requirement? I have the right not to disclose my identity even if I said something false and damaging to another. I committed libel, sure, but I still have the right not to disclose my identity.
     
  4. bongman

    bongman Member

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    Just in case you missed it... ACCOUNTABILITY. Committing libel is a crime and whoever committed it needs to be held responsible.
     
  5. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    But we are talking about before-the-fact, can we make a chilling effect argument? The accountability argument is too much and where do we stop?
     
  6. bongman

    bongman Member

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    It is not before-the-fact. If you post a review about company X about things that are untrue, a crime has been committed. Unless I am misinterpreting what you mean.
     
  7. Major

    Major Member

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    I'm not so sure anonymity was at the heart of the founding principles of the country. The whole concept of "right to privacy" is something that has seemingly evolved and grown over time. But even now, when it comes to speech, there are some limits on anonymity - for example, political speech in TV ads has to include the source of who made the ad, and candidate ads have to include the "I'm Joe Schmoe, and I approved this ad." That's all designed to disallow anonymous speech.

    Yelp should want to discourage libel on its site for business reasons - they get their funding from businesses. If businesses hate them, that's a problem for them as a company.
     
  8. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    Ok got you, we would require Yelp to collect every poster's name and address, and verify them. In case where a post is found to be false, Yelp would turn over the verified identity of the poster. If Yelp fails to do all of that, Yelp would be penalized. Every poster is also put on notice that their true identity would be revealed should a post is found to be false.
    I for one would probably quit Yelp if that's the policy. That's just me maybe.
     
  9. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    But political speech on TV is a little different from a review about plumbing service by an average consumer.
     
  10. bongman

    bongman Member

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    I hear ya. It really encompasses the phrase.. "put your money where your mouth is".
     
  11. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    But is it a good thing? Should other Internet service provider like this site be required to do the same in case someone say something bad, or violate copyright laws?
     
  12. bongman

    bongman Member

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    I would say yes. Take for example Craigslist. I can defame a persons character by posting and add under "Want S*X everytime" and post that person's number. There has to be some way to get the identity of the person who posted that.

    Another thing that this will prevent is having the business owner prop up his/her business by posting great reviews under numerous anonymous accounts. That would be a benefit to the consumers.
     
  13. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    There needs to be a system whereas a business owner can have a chance to resolve the customer issue with the business through an arbitrator. If the customer doesn't exist or doesn't respond to the opportunity for resolution, than let the review be taken down as it's probably fake.

    Create win-win-win situations for the customer-Yelp-business. Everyone can walk away happy.
     
  14. Baba Booey

    Baba Booey Contributing Member

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    Everyone will be happy except the person who is stuck paying for it.
     
  15. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    I like it.
     
  16. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Yeah, Yelp
     
  17. Major

    Major Member

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    This puts the entire burden on the business. As the fake reviewer, I can post fake reviews all I want at no cost. If the business complains, I don't respond, my post gets deleted, but the owner of the business I'm messing with had to waste some of their time. If the business doesn't bother, I get away with it. Either way, I get a benefit and don't lose anything so there's nothing to discourage me from posting it.
     
  18. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    ( I got rained out)

    With the right of Free Speech and the ubiquity of anonymity on the internet
    why would you believe anything you read on the internet that is not attributed and
    peer reviewed. Even at that things can be hacked and counterfeited.

    You should assume everything, everybody and every post is driven by profit motive until you do you due diligence.

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. SacTown

    SacTown Member

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    I'm in the industry relating to this and one really big problem you have on places like yelp and Amazon for example are fake reviews. There is an army of people out there who trade cash for reviews. I'd say probably 40% of reviews you read on any given product or business are bought and therefore, FAKE.
     
  20. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    That's the way it is now. At least you give the businesses a way to deal with it. Trust me, this is a huge issue for them, they will use it happily. They are very frustrated with Yelp right now.
     

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