A Virginia carpet cleaner has filed suit to identify posters who used the on-line review service Yelp, to post negative comments about his business. A Virginia court of appeals judge has ruled the comments are not protected speech and Yelp must identify them to the extent that it can. The carpet cleaning company alleged that the people posting negative comments about his business were not genuine customers and thus were not protected by Yelp’s terms of service. Some speculate that the case, if the ruling is upheld, could lead to other litigation seeking to identify anonymous posters on other forums.

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