Free Speech, User Reviews and another Lawsuit

by Larry Emmott on December 1, 2011

in Internet,Management,Social Media

From Dr. Bicuspid (registration required)

A New York dentist is in legal hot water for requiring patients to agree not to post negative comments about her online before she would treat them…A class-action lawsuit filed November 29 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York claims that a form Stacy Makhnevich, DDS, had patients sign prior to treatment violates New York law, misuses federal copyright laws, and violates dental ethics.

via Dental Practice Management.

More in the New York Post read the comments..ugh.

The dentist who is being sued, Dr. Stacy Makhnevich, was using a service from a company called “Medical Justice”. I have written  about this servcie before and though I have great sympathy for dentists being defamed online I have doubts about “Medical Justice.” Never the less this case is another indication of how powerful online reviews have become and how inherently corrupt the system is.

The reader comments at the Post are universally negative. The general public does not consider that a professional’s reputation is precious and we should be able to protect ourselves from malicious defamation. Instead they immediately assume the dentist is wrong and she must be pretty bad if she needs to control patient comments. It is a lose-lose for the dentist.

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