Can The Identity Of An Anonymous Reviewer Be Disclosed?

It has become quite common for employees to share both their good and bad experiences in review sites knowing that they have a large audience. Most job seekers go to Glassdoor, a popular review site for some inside information on employers. An example is King Kong agency reviews that reveal the personal opinions of employees working in the digital agency.

California-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a motion to quash a subpoena on behalf of an employee, who used to work for Kraken, a cryptocurrency exchange company. Kraken alleged that the employee violated a severance agreement that prohibits an employee from disclosing confidential information associated to the company. Former employees are not allowed to disparage the company or defame it.

It is obvious that Kraken wanted to identify the employee through a subpoena. However, in a blog post, EFF explained that their client is only one among the numerous employees that posted anonymous reviews on Glassdoor after their termination. After a careful review of the severance agreement, EFF believed that there was no violation. The former employees shared both the positive and negative aspects of working for Kraken.

It was apparent the Kraken was not pleased with the reviews. It was determined that the severance contract was violated and started suing the employees. EFF’s client has deleted the review but Kraken still wants to know the identity of the reviewer.

According to Naomi Gilens, EFF lawyer, it is not unusual for a company to sue in order to identify the source of an anonymous review. Former employees are only sharing their honest opinion of the company. It is clear that the issue is not defamation but unmasking the anonymous reviewer.

The First Amendment does not protect anyone from being sued for defamation but EFF’s client is engaging in a constitutionally-protected speech. It appears that the lawsuit is vindictive and designed to target former employees.

Employees anonymously post King Kong online agency reviews in Glassdoor and other popular review sites because they want to attract tech talent to join the team. The digital industry is very competitive because new developments are being introduced every day. Quality tech talents are very valuable to digital agencies.