A New Zealand law lecturer says the case involving the site and NZ toy company Zuru, has practical implications and people will need to be very careful about what they post online, writes Anna Rawhiti-Connell in The Bulletin.
Zuru and Glassdoor respond to court decision
On Tuesday, I included an item about the billion-dollar New Zealand toy company, Zuru, and its successful court ruling in a case against online employment review site, Glassdoor. Glassdoor now has to release the details of former employees who left critical reviews on the site about the company. Reviews are meant to be anonymous. Zuru released a statement later that day, maintaining the reviews are fake. Glassdoor has also responded saying, “We note that, contrary to Zuru’s contentions, the unflattering workplace experience reviews describing working at Zuru were authored by multiple former Zuru employees.” Glassdoor has successfully defended over 100 cases where attempts have been made to unveil the details of users posting anonymous reviews on its site.
Decision challenges Glassdoor’s future, with ramifications for New Zealanders
Head of marketing at Auckland University business school Bodo Lang said Glassdoor’s offering was contingent on anonymity and people would not provide reviews if that wasn’t guaranteed. “If there are no reviews then they have no business, basically, so I think that would be a major blow,” Lang said. 1News’ Corazon Miller spoke to Auckland University law lecturer Nikki Chamberlain who said the decision has practical implications for New Zealanders and that “people need to be very careful in what they post online”. First Union’s Louisa Jones said the decision “creates a climate of fear so that workers feel like they can’t expose what’s happened to them at work, which is not OK”.
Fake reviews are a problem online
In this report from Australia yesterday, one business owner said that Glassdoor made his life hell. The owner alleged that a handful of ex-employees who had joined a rival business were weaponising social media and review sites to muscle in on his business’s market. The owner said it cost the company millions of dollars in contracts and made it difficult to hire new staff. He said Glassdoor offered no help. There is at least one example of a successful lawsuit against Google for defamation and a $750,000 payout in Australia because of a fake review.
Vodafone executive says companies should embrace feedback, including the negative
Before coming to work at The Spinoff, I had a career in social media. It is also my blessing in life to be The Spinoff’s sometimes-and-unofficial LinkedIn correspondent, which is where I spotted Vodafone’s chief people officer, Jodie King, being very pragmatic. King wrote: “While nobody likes to read critical feedback, and we certainly wouldn’t condone defamation, trying to suppress or avoid anonymous feedback means we would miss out on the benefit of the rich diversity of opinions amongst people.” I’ve elaborated on my thoughts about the ruling and why I think it’s instructional for employers on The Spinoff this morning.