New law prevents deleting bad reviews

This law was the first of its kind in the United States

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – California’s Governor this week signed what’s known as the “Yelp Bill.” Under the new law, starting next year, businesses will be fined up to $10-thousand for deleting online opinions.

The bill was inspired by a Utah couple fined $35-hundred for posting a bad review about a retailer. A similar incident happened at a New York hotel.

Richelle Masters of Chicopee told 22News it’s also a problem in Massachusetts. She said, “I don’t think a company should be allowed to go in. I don’t think they have, I don’t think individuals have the power that a big company does so I think it’s important we have the freedom to write what we want.”

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court threw out a class action law suit accusing review website, Yelp, of extorting small businesses. However, in a recent statement, a YELP spokesman called the California law a victory for free speech.

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