Yelp.com Can Hurt Your Business

Yelp.com Can Hurt Your Business

Why does this make me uncomfortable? Yelp, part of a giant advertising machine, is fighting for online Freedom of Speech by whooping-up on a small business owner in Virginia State Supreme Court. Sounds like another incident of online bullying that ends badly. Except this time, the effects might be game-changing because Yelp is a bully with lots of money. Yelp gets at least 5 subpoenas monthly from business owners seeking the names of anonymous users who have unfairly attacked their businesses online. Unfortunately for these owners, very few lawsuits are ever successful. This is because Yelp and other websites like them (CitySearch, Angie’s List, Google + Local, Yahoo Local, and Amazon.com) are protected from liability for defamation claims under the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Complaints—whether true or false– can cost your company thousands of dollars in lost business. Yelp Plays Hardball to Protect its Advertising Revenue in Court & Congress In November of 2013 Yelp hired lobbyist Laurent Crenshaw to push for a federal “Anti-SLAPP” law, which will, if enacted, make it even tougher for small business owners to protect themselves in the Courts against anonymous critics. Mr. Crenshaw used to work for U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, who now sits the House Committee On Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. Crenshaw has been working hard in his new capacity, according to his LD-2 Disclosure form filed with the U.S. House of Representatives, in two months his expenses were $30,000 lobbying for Yelp. See his expenditure report . His specific lobbying issues are listed as: “Working to promote competition in the online marketplace. Protecting and promoting Internet freedom.”...
How to Get Listed (if you must) on CitySearch

How to Get Listed (if you must) on CitySearch

There are more web designers out there than sticks floating down the Mississippi. So that’s why I listed my business on CitySearch because all my competitors will certainly do it. Even though it’s very unlikely I’ll get a call from someone who found me on CitySearch (because I don’t advertise on CitySearch), I just couldn’t stop thinking of all those other sticks. And, I’m a natural optimist.

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