The Internet can be a great asset, but there are reasons business owners should be apprehensive. While it can serve as a fantastic resource for companies to get in touch with customers, it is also far too easy for incorrect information — particularly through illegal reviews — to be spread by those with bad intentions. This is potentially dangerous, as more than 90 percent of those ages 18 to 34 say they trust Internet review sites as much as personal recommendations.
Companies today must be mindful of how online reviews can impact their reputations and what they are able — or not able — to do about them. This includes recognizing whether or not removing online reviews may be likely. In most cases, there is not much you can do about them unless they violate the site’s terms of service in some way. You also should be aware that if you’re experiencing a sudden increase of negative online reviews, legal action probably won’t save you because most of these comments are protected by the First Amendment.
Even if you feel helpless against the wrath of unhappy customers and their keyboards, you do have some options when it comes to illegal reviews. Knowing how to identify false reviews and accounts can help you make your case to the hosting site, and potentially have them removed. There also are numerous approaches to turning these negatives into positives for your company.
Click below for an accompanying guide on spotting and acting against illegal reviews that contains a wealth of advice to help you shield yourself:
Author Bio: Attorney Gavin T. Elliot is an international attorney, licensed in England and Wales along with Florida and Washington D.C., and is the founder of The Elliot Legal Group, P.A. Since founding the practice in 2010, Mr. Elliot has focused on providing counsel to and representing the interests of clients throughout Florida, as well as international clientele. Mr. Elliot has had the privilege of representing single member LLCs, Fortune 500 companies and everything in between.
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