Court Orders Yelp to Disclose Reviewers’ Identities

January 12, 2014

A Virginia appeals court ordered Yelp to identify those responsible for seven negative reviews of a carpet cleaning company, citing a state statute that allows courts to unmask those behind online avatars if there is “legitimate, good-faith” belief they violated the law. Legal experts say that Virginia has a lower standard for outing internet users than other states including California and that the decision likely won’t set a precedent for the wholesale disclosure of anonymous speech online.

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