The Ashley Inn sign

Summary: We get a lot of questions about anonymous reviews online. The idea that people can hide behind a spurious name and express opinions about a business, a doctor or anyone else online is a fairly frequent topic of discussion in our PriceCheck project, where we allow individuals to tell prices and also comment about their providers. So we were interested in this recent Oregon court ruling on a case involving, which — like Yelp, ZocDoc, Vitals, HealthGrades, Chowhound and a raft of other businesses — also allows anonymous reviews.




“A Lincoln City hotel lost its fight to hold an anonymous person liable for a scathing review on that its owners worried was driving away business,” Aimee Green wrote in The Oregonian.

“A Multnomah County Circuit judge said he would not compel the travel website to hand over the name of the commenter because — just like traditional news organizations, such as newspapers and TV stations — TripAdvisor is protected under Oregon’s media shield law.” via Aimee Green, “Harsh TripAdvisor reviewer’s anonymity is protected: Oregon Coast hotel drops $74,999 defamation suit,”



Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...