Cozen O’Connor: Review Websites Like TripAdvisor Are Under Fire. Is That Warranted?

Review Websites Like TripAdvisor Are Under Fire. Is That Warranted?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Isaac Binkovitz, an associate in the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in the How Stuff Works' article, "Review Websites Like TripAdvisor Are Under Fire. Is That Warranted?" The online review industry is under scrutiny for a recent plague of fake reviews, including unrealistically good reviews posted by owners and employees and false or defamatory reviews posted by competitors, and the lack of transparency about how listings are ranked. TripAdvisor, the $1.5 billion travel review site, is responding to allegations from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the website actively deleted posts from more than a dozen women and men who reported incidents of druggings, blackouts and rapes while vacationing at a resort in Mexico. Isaac told the news outlet, "that Section 230 generally allows publishers like Yelp, Craigslist, and TripAdvisor to claim immunity from anything that users post on the sites, but if and only if the website administrators can prove that they play a "passive" role." He also explained, "if a website is not a passive platform for hosting these things, but instead engages in steering the content, shaping the content, editing the content or promoting certain pieces of the content at some point it stops being a passive platform, but a generator of the content itself."

To read the full article, click here