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California will fine companies that try to silence disgruntled customers

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Remember the New York hotel that imposed $500 fines for any guest who wrote disparaging reviews on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor? The state of California does, and has decided that it wants to stop the practice of any business, including hotels and restaurants inserting "non-disparagement" clauses into their terms of business. Under the law, any outlet trying to enforce financial penalties onto upset keyboard warriors would be met with a $2,500 slap. Subsequent violations would set them back $5,000, and there's a $10,000 bonus non-prize if a company is found to be recklessly violating the rules. Let's hope that the trend carries over to other states, but also that some canny legislator widens the definition to cover gadget reviews for, er, no specific reason.

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