August 5, 2017

Pychiatrist sues over anonymous rating

Post & Courier, SC - A West Ashley psychiatrist was so offended by a poor online review that he has sued the anonymous critic and demanded that Google unmask the user's identity.

What did the review say? Nothing.

It simply gave Dr. Mark Beale one out of five stars — a judgment that Beale said has caused him "extreme and constant distress."

Beale insisted that it could not have come from an actual patient, making it false and libelous. His lawsuit noted that he was highly regarded on other websites. He had enjoyed 4½ stars on the popular

"It’s a mystery," Beale said in a brief interview. "The one-star review is out of sync with the feedback I get from my patients. ... So we decided to look into it."

His defamation claim is shaping up as a battle over First Amendment rights in an age of internet anonymity. The suit against "John Doe" was filed in March in Charleston County court, but it ratcheted up this month as Google objected to Beale's attempts to expose what he dubbed a “spoofer.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had a prof in grad school, in clinical psychology, who blamed a referral service for sending him "bad client" who did not stay in therapy with him. This, despite the fact that the man was about as therapeutic as a slap in the face. Go figure.