Tom Crandall considers “When A Gripe Site Is Manipulated By A Competitor” — and gets a crack expert opinion in there. Says Tom:
I believe we are entering a very dark period of the web, folks. The vitriol and deceit of political players and media in the U.S. is trickling down to the culture of business. In my work I have identified and helped prosecute businesses that fabricate consumer generated media and promote malicious falsehoods against competitors in the guise of an abused customer or industry expert. Some of them are dumb enough to publish links to their competing sites.
Tom may be selling the grassroots short on their creative ability here — I don’t know if we needed politicians and media stars to show us how to lie (and profit from it) — but he’s pretty much right that something is going to have to give here.
Originally posted 2014-03-14 10:40:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
One Reply to “Get a gripe”
I mediated one of these cases. The “gripe site” published ten pages of complaints (many of them from the same people) all in about 3 pt. type.
The business was located in a VERY SMALL community and the impact was reportedly devastating not only to the business, but to the personal and community relationships of everyone involved.
While maliciousness is always a possibility, I don’t think some people really give enough thought to what it is they’re doing when they begin to participate in a “thread” of unsubstantiated rumor on the internet.
I’m predicting a lot of defamation and tortious interference with contract and prospective economic advantage claims (although most small business people cannot afford the legal fees and insurance coverage is usually contested if a defense is provided at all).
This is where neighbor-to-neighbor and small business-to-consumer free (or low cost) non-lawyered community mediation comes in.
If any of your readers have mediation training, they should consider doing a little mediation pro bono work in the community. It works and it’s incredibly rewarding.
Los Angeles lawyers with minimal mediation training can mediate community disputes pro bono through the Los Angeles County Bar Association Dispute Resolution Services. This is not court annexed mediation. This is “on the street” community service.
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