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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    6

    Default How do Review Sites Avoid Getting Sued for Defamation

    My question involves defamation in the state of: All 50 States

    I am curious how sites like Glassdoor are able to stay in business with posters providing specific details (usually negative) about employers. I am interested in creating something similar but do not wish to be sued every time a poster provides specific company/person information. There are a lot of very angry and frustrated job seekers who are being treated horribly (and sometimes illegally) during the hiring process with no repercussions.

    Glassdoor works because it does post that information. I think it's a very powerful tool that used correctly, can hold companies that participate in rude or discriminatory hiring/working practices accountable.

    I do understand that the best defense against defamation is the truth but even then in our litigious society, one person's "truth" is another person's defamation suit or at the very least, a reason to sue a poster in efforts to silence them.

    I am guessing that companies like Glassdoor have deep pockets and can withstand on-going legal threats. I do not have deep pockets.

    Unless posters use a VPN or a service like TOR to stay anonymous, I just don't see how a low budget review blog or website can keep their posters safe.

    Am I missing something?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: How do Review Sites Avoid Getting Sued for Defamation

    If a company falls under the safe harbor provisions of the Communications Decency Act, it cannot be successfully sued for defamation over user-generated content.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: How do Review Sites Avoid Getting Sued for Defamation

    Operative words being successfully sued. Meaning it could still cost a few bags of shackles to defend against the suit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: How do Review Sites Avoid Getting Sued for Defamation

    Glassdoor and like sites not only have deep pockets, but they also have a strong legal staff.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Creating a Glassdoor-Like Review Blog

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    Then stay out of the business.

    If you can't afford the routine expense of an attorney to guide you through the pitfalls then don't quit your day job.
    I guess free speech isn't so free after all. What a great business model - you can only tell the truth if you have money. Good for the employers who act like jerks, good for the attornies and not so good for the people trying to speak up. Only in America...

    That's okay, I like a challenge.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Creating a Glassdoor-Like Review Blog

    And of course, there's never been an employee in the history of the world who ever had an axe to grind, exaggerated or even (gasp!) lied about their employer on line.

    Yes, there are bad employers out there. However, there are bad employees out there too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    4,301

    Default Re: Creating a Glassdoor-Like Review Blog

    Quote Quoting UIConfusion
    View Post
    I guess free speech isn't so free after all. What a great business model - you can only tell the truth if you have money. Good for the employers who act like jerks, good for the attornies and not so good for the people trying to speak up. Only in America...

    That's okay, I like a challenge.
    Not not only in America. There are many Western countries where you can get into criminal problems by defaming a company. There are some non-western countries where you can get killed and charged for the bullet for doing so.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
    Posts
    1,678

    Default Re: Creating a Glassdoor-Like Review Blog

    Tangentially, there is always a cost to speech. Free speech means that it's free from the interference of government.

    As to truth...well truth is a more complex thing than man want to address unless we're talking about empirical fact and even then there is sometimes argument.

    What it comes down to is that the service provider isn't the one making the statements, they are simply providing the forum. The posters, on the other hand may make defamatory statements and it's not uncommon, as stated in the T&Cs, to have those posts removed by the service provider. Many employers aren't too concerned about what disgruntled employees have to say as long they aren't spilling the confidential beans.

    For example, the company I work for, if you read what various employees and former employees have to say is that I work in a terrible place where the company just doesn't care about, well, anything but money. At the same time there are many people I work with who've been there for their entire working lives, 40+ years and sometimes these are the same employee. So, employers tend to take griping as just that, griping.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Creating a Glassdoor-Like Review Blog

    Quote Quoting UIConfusion
    View Post
    I guess free speech isn't so free after all. What a great business model - you can only tell the truth if you have money. Good for the employers who act like jerks, good for the attornies and not so good for the people trying to speak up. Only in America...

    That's okay, I like a challenge.
    Perhaps you'd like to brush up on civics before embarking on this particular venture.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: How do Review Sites Avoid Getting Sued for Defamation

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    Operative words being successfully sued. Meaning it could still cost a few bags of shackles to defend against the suit.
    Anybody can file a frivolous lawsuit. That doesn't mean that the entire world has become paralyzed.

    There are many review sites on the web, most of which operate on a shoestring, and I can't recall a one of them that was shut down over a frivolous lawsuit over UGC.

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