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Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising, second only to “earned media” such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, according to a recent Nielsen report. Managing a company’s online reputation understandably is of prime importance, but one of the challenges of doing so is how best to mitigate damage from a negative consumer review or comment without further harming the brand. Overcoming this challenge is made more difficult by the tendency of some to pursue legal action as a first course of action rather than as a last resort. A growing body of case law should serve as a warning, however, to companies considering litigation to combat negative online traffic.

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