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Judge Rules on Yelp Reviews
DAYTON -- A follow-up to a Family 411 consumer alert we brought you in November. A court ruling could reshape the rules for online consumer reviews. A Virginia judge says the popular website Yelp must turn over the names of seven reviewers who anonymously criticized a carpet cleaning business.
Restaurant owner Karen Koeppe says she's learned in her first year in business that a positive review online can bring in customers. And conversely, Karen says, "when people are looking at this review platform and see 2 1/2 stars, they go 'next.' The social networking platforms really do make a difference in business."
Virginia business owner Joe Hadeed said anonymous users leaving bad reviews for his cleaning service on Yelp were not real customers, so his lawyer filed a subpoena, and a judge ordered Yelp to release the names. An appeals court in Alexandria ruled the comments were not protected First Amendment opinions if the statements were deliberately false.
It's not the first time the issue of questionable reviews has hit the courts. Last September, 19 companies in New York admitted to paying for positive reviews. Marketing expert Dr. Serdar Durmusoglu says, "There are always going to be companies that are going to do that."
Yelp's lawyer says the Virginia decision should concern customers because the ruling makes it more difficult for customers to get valuable information about companies. But Dermusoglu says consumers just need to be informed. He warns, "Customers have always had to be a little bit wary about what reviews they're reading."
Yelp has come under fire in the past for hiding reviews, listing them as "not recommended." The review site claims it's a way of filtering out fake reviews and says today's ruling fails to protect free speech rights.
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Fed split on signals for first rate increase
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Minutes of the Federal Reserve's June policy meetings sho officials had differing views on the best way to signal to financial markets when they might raise a key short-term interest rate. They were in broad agreement, however, that they will likely announce an end to their monthly bond buying program in October.
WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
EMMY NOMINATIONS THIS MORNING
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It's a good bet that "Modern Family" will be among the shows on the list for best comedy when the Emmy nominations are announced this morning.
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (AP) -- You can't call these guys dirty crooks.
IN THE NEWS: CALIFORNIA TEEN DIES TRYING TO RECOVER STOLEN iPHONE
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) -- Recently, Rubi Rubio got a new iPhone 5S as a gift from her mom -- a present for getting good grades during her sophomore year of high school.
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