Business owners beware! Fake reviews are on the rise, particularly fake reviews for restaurateurs.

Recently in Houston, a restaurant by the name of Bludorn, became the newest victim of this defamatory trend. After receiving an influx of bad reviews all at once, co-owner and Chef Aaron Bludorn took action by contacting Google to remove the reviews.

However, restaurants across the country have been reporting similar extortion threats, ranging from gift card demands to compensating meals.

This illegal trend has gained so much traction in the state of Arizona that Governor Doug Ducey recently passed SB1001 into law, making it a class 4 felony to extort a business.

Colin Diaz, the president of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, teamed up with other business owners who were demanding action from state lawmakers about rogue social media influencers and blogger bullies.

So what does this mean for Arizonians? Well, this law makes threatening a fake negative review (otherwise known as defamation) in exchange for free products or other perks as extortion.

However, it should be noted that the new law does NOT restrict customers from posting their ACTUAL opinions- good or bad- but rather holds consumers accountable for their posts if found to be falsified.

If this trend continues to increase in popularity, we can hope that other states surely won’t be far behind signing new legislation into law that protects their business owners.

Time is of the essence when it comes to defamation, especially when it’s a fake review and your reputation on the line. If you are concerned about negative reviews targeted at you or your business, contact us at RM Warner Law.

Our internet defamation lawyers will evaluate your situation and provide viable options to combat negative reviews. Speak with one of our internet lawyers online today or call us toll-free at 1-866-570-8585 to discuss your case.

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