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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

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Bob Nicholson

You raise a very good point. Recently a group of rating and review site operators formed the "Rating and Review Professional Association," in part to defend against threats to sites such as ours.

A quote from our website (rarpa.org) regarding this issue:


Rating sites, and individuals who post ratings, are sometimes sued by businesses or individuals who oppose their rights to freely express their opinions. These suits are called "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation," or SLAPPs.

Many states offer legal protections against SLAPPs, allowing the defendants to counter-sue and collect substantial damages. For broad information on SLAPPs and anit-SLAPP protection, see Wikipedia.

There is more detailed information about defending against a SLAPP at thefirstamendment.org.

At least one rating and review site, assisted by the ACLU, has used anti-SLAPP protections to block a lawsuit by professors suing a website where students posted critiques of their teachers.

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