Yelp: Free Speech or Anonymous Defamation? What Can A Business Do About Negative Online Reviews?

customersThere you are minding your own business, trying to serve your customers well and reap the benefits of positive word-of-mouth advertising when suddenly an anonymous reviewer posts a very negative (and very anonymous) review of your business on Yelp or another online forum. You don’t know whether this is a competitor seeking to get an unfair advantage, someone with a personal beef against you, or just someone with too much time on his hands trolling cyberspace, but you know it is not a legitimate review.

What can you do about it?

This was the question a carpet cleaning service in Virginia found itself asking.  Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, Inc. in Virginia was the subject of some negative reviews on Yelp, which were posted anonymously.  Continue reading Yelp: Free Speech or Anonymous Defamation? What Can A Business Do About Negative Online Reviews?

From the “Who Did This, Anyway?” File: Wisconsin Now Prohibits Employers from Requesting Employee Personal Social Media Passwords.

Blog Pic - WI CapitolIn what strikes me as a solution in search of a problem, Wisconsin law was recently changed to prohibit employers from “request[ing] or requir[ing] an employee  or applicant for employment, as a condition of employment, to disclose access information for the personal Internet account of the employee or applicant or to otherwise grant access to or allow observation of that account.” While I’m guessing that some employer somewhere in the state requested this information at some point (or someone just imagined they might do it some day), I am not aware of any employers who actually requested employees’ private social media passwords.

With all the hype about this new employee privacy right, I think it’s important for employees and employers alike to realize that employers still have many rights when it comes to social media, IT, and what employees may do on the employer’s time and equipment.

What does the new law prohibit?

Wisconsin employers cannot request or require user name and password information (among other security information) that protects access to fingerprintemployees’ personal Internet accounts. Continue reading From the “Who Did This, Anyway?” File: Wisconsin Now Prohibits Employers from Requesting Employee Personal Social Media Passwords.

Who Doesn’t Love a Contest?  Step Right Up! Don’t be Shy!

Cards by Steve A Johnson via Flickr Some Rights Reserved
Cards by Steve A Johnson via Flickr Some Rights Reserved

Are you considering running a promotional contest for your business through a social media platform? Excellent! What fun! Who doesn’t love a contest? You’ll just want to be sure the contest doesn’t cause your business more trouble than it’s worth. And, really, it shouldn’t – as long as you play by the rules. Continue reading Who Doesn’t Love a Contest?  Step Right Up! Don’t be Shy!