As Online Review sites grow in importance for both consumers and businesses, the biggest challenge that faces the ecosystem is authenticity.
On Monday, the US House of Representatives took a step towards protecting consumers when they write honest, negative reviews. They passed a bill that would prevent businesses from adding non-disparagement clauses into their terms of service agreements.
With the recent legal challenges that Online Review sites have been facing from consumers and businesses alike, it’s essential that the government protects consumers from the wrath of businesses, suing them for their honest reviews.
The next step will be for the bill to go to the Senate and then signed or vetoed by the President.
One important aspect of the bill is that consumers cannot write libelous reviews or reviews that reveal trade secrets or medical/personal information.
While the Federal Trade Commission will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the bill, it will be interesting to see how they address these types of cases going forward.