Can a business stop me from posting about a negative experience?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a business stop me from posting about a negative experience?

Recently, I was harassed, at length by a wedding vendor over a few simple requests to fix issues with their services. Afterward, I posted an honest review of the experience, and it cost them a couple clients. My post wasn’t libelous, defamatory, or slanderous just an honest account of my experience. Additionally, I have paid in full for the service that I had issues with. The owner threatened to break our contract but return our deposit. We ended up agreeing to breaking the

contract in exchange for the refunded deposit. However, the owner is now holding my deposit ransom until I remove this post. Can he demand the removal of that post? And is he allowed to prohibit me from posting honest reviews of my experience in the future?

Asked on September 23, 2016 under Business Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

He can "ask" for anything he wants (anyone can ask anything); but in terms of legal rights--
1) As you appear to know, defamation is the posting of untrue factual statements that damage another's reputation. True facts are not defamation; something that is clearly an opinion, not a factual allegation (people are legally entitled to their opinions) is not defamation, either. If you did not defame him, he has no grounds for legal action and you certainly may post (unless, and only if, you had agreed, such as in a settlement agreement or the terms for services, that you would not post anything like this--such a contractual agreement is enforceable).
2) If he agreed to return your deposit and is refusing to do so, you could sue him, for breach of that agreement, to get it. 
The above is the law. Practically, why not remove the post if it will get him to return the money without litigation? Is posting your opinion so important to you that it would be worth going to court (suing him for the deposit) over?

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption