Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
How long ago were the reviews posted?
OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.
OK no problem at all. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks
Many thanks for your patience. It is untrue that as a business owner you have the right to refuse someone to make posts about your business. You do not ‘own’ information which mentions your business, for example this is not an intellectual property issue. Of course you own the registered name but that does not mean you cannot allow people to mention that name. You can prevent them from using the name to deliberately damage your business, for example if someone was pretending to be you and used that name to solicit customers instead of you. Similarly, if the reviews were untrue and potentially defamatory, as the publisher of these reviews they could have joint liability for defamation but it has to be a case of these reviews being untrue and not being able to be justified f being true or a person’s honest opinion. This would of course depend on the nature of the comments and their contents and it would be the best potential way of trying to challenge this, but not in a sense of making a court claim about it as this can get very expensive and complex in defamation claims. Instead, if you have evidence that the comments are clearly untrue and can back this up, you could use the threat of them being defamatory to accuse the ratings agency of potential joint liability for publishing defamatory comments and try to get them to remove this that way. If the comments are genuine and true, they are unfortunately allowed to publish them even if it makes your business appear in a bad light – that is unfortunately the nature of business and one of the potential risks – it is just more pronounced these days due to the digital age we live in.
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