We’ve gotten used to reading reviews for almost anything these days, but now writing a review is double edged sword. We know some are fake, some are written just to be mean, and some are honest. But being honest, when the review is negative, can get you sued.
Now that online reviews actually affect a business’ reputation, they are clapping back with SLAPP lawsuits. Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation are meant to not only shut you up, but make you pay. Around six figures if you are “lucky.” The suits are often crafted to be complicated, lengthy, and expensive for participants. Basically a deterrent from being negative and a way to make you apologize and remove the offending review.
The good news is, states are taking notice of the censorship and crafting anti-SLAPP laws. So far, 28 states, including New York, and Washington, DC have added the consumer friendly laws to their books. Always remember to only review when you are calm and beware if you are in states including neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, like New York, have the anti-SLAPP laws.
States that have anti-SLAPP laws include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Washington.
Source: USA Today Image © 2019 GettyImages