We wrote to you last month about a negative review on Yelp that ended in court. The defendant is a woman from Virginia named Jane Perez who took to Yelp, and also on Angie’s List, to express her disappointment with Dietz Development’s service. Perez says that Dietz workmen damaged her house and also stole her jewelry. Dietz owner Christopher Dietz accused Perez of Internet defamation, saying that the allegations were not true. Today, the Virginia Supreme Court has overturned a judge’s previous preliminary injunction to alter or edit the reviews.
The Supreme Court’s decision is a positive move for free speech on the Internet. Perez’s attorny, Paul Allen Levy, says that the decision confirms the importance of not shutting down public discussion on the Internet just because someone doesn’t like what’s being talked about. “Review sites like Yelp are vehicles for the free flow of ideas by helping consumers make informed decisions on how to spend their hard-earned dollars.”