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Catholic University Journal of Law and Technology

Catholic University Journal of Law and Technology

Abstract

In today’s society, virtually everyone relies on online posts in order to make decisions—from what products to purchase to what restaurants to visit. The introduction and increase of online communication has made posting reviews online a simpler, easier, and more efficient process. However, the increase of online communication has threatened the delicate balance between free speech and harmful speech.

A tangled web of recent case law and federal law exists which aggressively protects the free speech of online reviewers. The law has carved out immunity for the website operators that host an online reviewer’s comments, which in turn makes an online reviewer and their comments impervious to liability. A business harmed by these comments cannot seek remedy for defamatory, fraudulent, or overly negative posts. A lack of judicial remedy can create dire consequences for a business. Thus, businesses victimized by negative online reviews have little to no recourse. By not allowing business to have a remedy, courts only spawn unfettered freedom of speech on the internet.

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