Be Careful What You Say
Be Careful What You Say
Here’s a story you should read if you like posting online reviews of your interactions with businesses. A Fairfax County woman, who is being sued for defamation over negative reviews she wrote on Yelp and Angie’s List, must delete certain accusations and is barred from repeating them in new posts, reports The Washington Post’s Justin Jouvenal.
The preliminary injunction was hailed as a victory by a D.C. contractor, who took the woman to court claiming that her online reviews of the work he did on her home were false and cost him $300,000 in business. He is suing her for $750,000.
In Virginia, someone can be found liable for defamation if he or she states or implies a false factual statement about a person or business that causes harm to the subject’s reputation. Opinions are generally protected by the First Amendment.
Jouvenal reports that legal actions over reviews on Web sites such as Yelp are on the rise, as the sites have grown in popularity and online reputations have become more important for professionals and businesses. However, some reviewers and free speech advocates are concerned the lawsuits are masked attempts to stifle freedom of speech.
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Family Financial Fights
If you have some family financial drama going on, perhaps I can offer some advice on how to work through your issues -- or avoid them all together.
Send your Family Financial Fight stories to email@example.com. Be sure to include your full name, city and state and put “Family Finance” in the subject line.
“Happy Birthday, Great Recession”
This month marks the fifth birthday of the Great Recession that started in 2007 and has since taken a huge financial toll on the U.S. economy.
For the Color of Money Question last week I asked: “What did you learn from the Great Recession?”
Here are a few responses:
“I was reminded that safeguarding one’s retirement nest egg requires active participation and interest on my part,” wrote Thomas Druitt of Paducah, Ky. “Simply buying stocks and/or bonds in a 401(k) account and then expecting the financial market to do the work for you is not a way to retire with comfort. I was reminded for the umpteenth time that people of all walks of life who are focused solely on turning a profit in the next 15, 30 or 60 days to the exclusion of all else are not to be trusted. I was reminded that elected officials, when presented with financial conditions requiring that hard decisions be made, will go a long way around the barn to attempt to avoid making them, a phenomenon still transpiring today.”
Steve Brodeur of Boston had a sobering lesson.
He wrote: “The not-so-Great Recession taught me that, despite saving 15 percent plus of my gross salary for over 30 years (so far), I won’t be able to retire at age 70 with my current lifestyle, much less the lifestyle I dreamt of and thought I was planning for at 65 years old.”
I was particularly struck by one reader who is not American and does not live in the United States but who nonetheless learned some important lessons from the Great Recession.
“I learned from the recession that I have to store more, such as putting my money in banks during prosperous times,” wrote Haojie Yang, a student from Wuhan, Hubei, China. “Only in that way can I have enough to spend in recession time. And always work hard to face any coming challenges.”
Tia Lewis contributed to this report.
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