Or loosely translated, means that the U.S. Congress may soon be enacting legislation that will ensure freedom of speech in an increasingly online economy. As Americans we have come to cherish this freedom as a birthright that entitles us to express our thoughts and opinions in a very open environment (some legal limitations still do exist with respect to slander or crowd incitement). In an attempt to limit any negative commentary about their products or business practices, some companies have made customers sign non-disparagement clauses and then sued if a bad review showed up.
Sponsors of this legislation say that fair reviews are important to building the strength of the “sharing economy” that allows consumers to exchange information about products, services and ideas. Whatever happened to the old “complaint department?” My suggestion here is that we try a little more face-to-face interaction, or even a phone call, to help businesses and customers resolve any complaints or issues around products or service. Going online to express dissatisfaction, or writing lengthy negative emails, may be very satisfying or empowering to the aggrieved consumer, but let’s try a little person-to-person engagement first
I hope I am not being too naive here, and maybe people just don’t want to spend the time it may take to resolve legitimate complaints. You will always have these online tools, and available legal resources, at your disposal if needed. Let’s not simply believe that our expanded outreach on the Internet will help us resolve all our grievances.