This is a follow-up to an interview you heard on my radio show with a lawyer. Some lawyers are encouraging businesses to sue online reviewers to stop negative reviews. Some states have laws against this.Iowa is NOT one of them.It needs to join other states in protecting online speech.
Now that online reviews actually affect a business’ reputation, they are clapping back with SLAPP lawsuits. Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation are meant to not only shut you up, but make you pay. Around six figures if you are “lucky.” The suits are often crafted to be complicated, lengthy, and expensive for participants. Basically a deterrent from being negative and a way to make you apologize and remove the offending review.
The good news is, states are taking notice of the censorship and crafting anit-SLAPP laws. So far, 28 states and Washington, DC have added the consumer friendly laws to their books.
The states that DO have these laws:
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Washington.
Until Iowa joins this list, reviewers beware.