Thursday, July 19, 2018

Doctors still go after patients who post bad reviews; sometimes there have even been criminal charges; more on FOSTA

USA Today offers an unusually detailed story on Thursday, July 19, 2018 on the issue of negative online reviews on “review sites” like Yelp, on social media (Facebook) and even on personal blogs, by Jayne O’Donnell and Ken Alltucker, link here.  (There may be a paywall, but this paper is one of the easiest to find in hardcopy in convenience stores, as I did this morning on a “doughnut run” before working.)

The article focuses on several cases:  A retired military general David Antoon settled criminal and civil charges regarding his campaign against a Cleveland Clinic urologist  The Clinic is considered litigious, which can matter because many medical centers around the country have ties to the Clinic.

A jazz singer in Arizona was sued by a local clinic after her reviews concerning some cosmetic surgery (but it’s understandable that cosmetic fields could indeed invite negative reviews).

A Michigan hospital sued family members of an elderly patient for “tortious interference” (as in the 1999 movie “The Insider”) among other things.
The article explains that review site (like Yelp) don’t fact check but they do take down reviews that violate “terms of service” such as hate speech, or bot generation of reviews or comments. Review stes are (still) protected by Section 230.

Update: Later July 19

I attended the FOSTA hearing today.  No injunction was issued.  Here is my best report so far.

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