Is free speech under attack in Virginia state? It seems that a court of appeal in the state ruled that Yelp must disclose the real identities of seven individuals who posted anonymous critical reviews of a carpet cleaning business, Hadeed Carpet, in Alexandria, Virginia.
The reason behind this action is that Hadeed feels that the reviews never cam from actual customers and sued to get Yelp to reveal the identities of the individuals in question. Yelp refused to comply, and the court allowed Hadeed’s lawyer’s motion to compel.
Yelp then appealed and the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s ruling. If things keep up getting appealed, then eventually the case could go up to the US Supreme Court on First Amendment grounds. This seems unlikely do to the fact it doesn’t really seem practical.