Google forced to reveal anonymous reviewer’s details

It’s a small business’s worst nightmare: someone leaves a review on a popular site trashing your company, and they do it anonymously. That’s what happened to Mark Kabbabe, who runs a tooth whitening business in Melbourne, Australia. Last week, a court Google to reveal the details of an anonymous poster who published a bad review of his business.

According to the court judgement, the anonymous poster used the pseudonym CBsm 23 to publish a review on Google about a procedure they had undergone at Kabbabe’s clinic. The review said that the dentist made the whole experience “extremely awkward and uncomfortable”, claiming that the procedure was a “complete waste of time” and was not “done properly”. It seemed like Kabbabe “had never done this before”, said the review, adding that other patients had “been warned!” and should “STAY AWAY”. Ouch.

Kabbabe contacted Google in November 2019, according to the court order, asking it to take down the review, but Google refused. He mailed again on 5 February, asking for information about the poster, but Google replied that:

We do not have any means to investigate where and when the ID was created.

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