All of us realize that the internet is an open door to voicing opinions and experiences dealing with all aspects of our lives. There seems to be a comment place for every single subject you could ever imagine. As much as the intent of these comments was originated to expose the “experience” of the writer more often than not, it is used to inflict harm to ones reputation.
The article displays a perfect example how ones opinion and experience turned in to a possible defamation case. We see this everyday in our line of work. Whether or not it’s an attack personally or professionally many of the posts on COMMENT or REVIEW sites were purposely intended to cause detriment to the service provider.
While we absolutely uphold the Freedom of Speech here in the United States as a Constitutional right, there is a matter of specific wording that qualifies that fine line of opinion to defamation. Attacking ones character professionally or personally can affect someone’s reputation or business abilities and when you mess with someone’s livelihood…look out!
Although review sites and comment sites are useful for those looking for services, we must keep in mind that there’s a high probability the information contained in the sites are not always accurate. Every day we see a repeated number of ugly posts from ex-spouses, disgruntle employees, dissatisfied customers and from competitors. These types of malicious posting are purposely made to cause harm to the business or individual with FALSE information, although sites contain real information on experiences good or bad, most people are going to remember the bad.
Keep in mind that while professionals in public arenas like doctors and dentists are held at a higher standard they are still extremely vulnerable to personal attacks. Just because you might not like a bedside manner doesn’t make that person a bad service provider, it’s just a matter of personal opinion. That opionion takes a different course once its posted all over the internet for the public to see. Absolutely address your concerns if you have them you may want exercise your right to report them to the appropriate agencies in charge. Or more so, present the facts and let it be determined by the legal system.