ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Virginia Court of Appeals ruled this week that comments posted to Yelp are not protected by the First Amendment if those comments were made by people who were not customers of the business they reviewed. As a result, Yelp must turn over the names of seven reviewers who criticized a carpet cleaning business in Virginia, reports The Washington Times.

Joe Hadeed, the owner of Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, said Yelp users who were not real customers of his business disparaged the company on Yelp and asked for their names.

Paul Levy, a lawyer who represented Yelp, told the news source that the ruling is “going to make it more difficult for the marketplace of ideas to get valuable information about companies.”

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