Are you one of the many thousands of U.S. consumers who actively research restaurants and other companies before you decide where to spend your money? Review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List are prime examples of Internet destinations that aid American spenders in finding the best food, doctors, contractors, salons, and other services. According to a paper written by Michael Luca, assistant professor of Business at Harvard Business School, an increase of just one star on Yelp can increase restaurant sales by 5-9%. If you are a consistent contributor to review sites, be careful what you say—while freedom of speech is valued in this country, it is still illegal to dishonestly defame someone’s profession and cause them unjust business losses. Below are a few examples of online reviews that resulted in litigation:
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