Negative User Reviews Could Be Considered Libel

Following the Advertising Standards Authority's ruling that TripAdvisor can no longer claim their reviews to be "trusted," an expert says that user-generated reviews could potentially be sued for libel.

Reviewers who allege that a restaurant was the source of food poisoning can face legal action, since it's impossible to say with certainty which meal caused the sickness.

"They usually just pick on the last place where they ate, when in fact the incubation period for such infections is usually one to two days and sometimes as long as a week," a representative for a restaurant reputation management company said.

Furthermore, the Telegraph reports that many hoteliers claim that customers blackmail them, threatening to post negative reviews on TripAdvisor and similar sites.

Yelp has been dealing with fake reviews as well, with some being positive reviews that were paid for by businesses themselves. And then there are reviews posted by fictional TV characters like Stefan K.

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