As previously noted, there has been an increase in attempts by businesses to prevent others from disparaging them online. This often shows up in some sort of “agreement” where the customer is compelled to agree not to disparage the business. The tide may be turning against these agreements.

In California, new legislation was passed to ban retailers from forcing people to agree to non-disparagement clauses. As noted in this article, many consumers do not realize that they have entered into a non-disparagement agreement and, once they publically criticize the business, the business fights back — and the customer is stunned to learn its freedom of speech had been contractually limited.

It is reasonable to expect this trend to continue across the country.