I run a review site and have recently received a splurge of positive reviews about a certain company on the web site. I'm suspicious and reluctant to post the reviews because they are all coming in at once, which leaves me to believe the company is behind the reviews indirectly.
The reviews are coming from unique IPs and there are certain fields in the review form which I can validate as being actual customers of the company in question. But what I don't know, is if the company created an incentive to get the customers to come to the site and write a review.
All prior reviews about the company are negative, so it is clear to me they are trying to increase their rating on the web site. I don't like when customers are sent to the site in hordes, because it basically comes across as spam to me -- even though the reviews might be from legitimate authors with no incentives involved.
Do I have any legal obligation to post the reviews? Could a disclaimer be put on the site to exempt me from possible legal implications by not posting the reviews?
I use a variety of criteria when it comes assessing the quality of reviews and approving them, and have no plans to diminish the integrity of the site by simply posting anything that comes in. But I would like to know what measures can be taken to ensure maximum protection from a legal perspective.