After several years of unprecedented job growth in the U.S. and the lowest unemployment rate in history, the COVID-19 health crisis has resulted in tens of millions of Americans unemployed and facing significant cuts in salary. The pandemic has also forced major changes to work conditions, with telecommuting and social distancing restrictions now commonplace.
As a consequence, more people will be looking for a job now than ever before and looking at your company’s Glassdoor profile.
Reputation Rhino has helped companies of all sizes develop actionable strategies to improve Glassdoor reviews and remove or suppress negative content from the first pages of Google, including Glassdoor.com.
What Is Glassdoor?
Glassdoor is one of the leading employment and career information websites in the world. Glassdoor has tens of millions of reviews and insights for nearly 700,000 companies in over 190 countries. 60 million people visit Glassdoor every month.
In addition to millions of job listings, Glassdoor has millions of company reviews, CEO ratings, salary details, interview questions, benefits information, office photos, and more. It also enjoys high authority with Google and other search engines, consistently ranking on or near Page 1 for company searches.
Because of its dominance in online search it is one of the most visited job-related websites in the world and negative reviews on Glassdoor have a serious impact on a company’s reputation
The average company rating on Glassdoor is 3.5 on a 5-point scale with 75% employees reporting they are “OK” or “Satisfied” with their job and company.
Why are Glassdoor Reviews Important?
Glassdoor enjoys a high level of authority with Google and other search engines, consistently ranking on or near Page 1 for searches for a company or brand. Because of Glassdoor’s dominance in online search it is one of the most visited job-related websites in the world and negative reviews on Glassdoor have a serious impact on a company’s reputation.
86% of candidates are likely to research company reviews and ratings before applying for a job and 65% of Glassdoor users read at least 5 reviews before forming an opinion of a company.
According to Redshift Research for Indeed.com (a rival job and recruiting website) 83% of respondents said employer reviews influenced their decision on where to apply, and 46% said that a company’s reputation had a significant impact on their final decision to accept a job offer.
If you are serious about attracting the best candidates for your company, you must have a positive online reputation.
What do people see when they Google your company online and see your Glassdoor reviews?
What Is Online Defamation / Cyber Libel
Online defamation or cyber libel is the act of posting online a false and unprivileged statement of fact that is harmful to someone’s reputation. Opinions, even if offensive and obnoxious, are protected speech.
A Glassdoor review stating that “company x is the worst place to work and are horrible to their employees” would not be defamation, because it is expressing an opinion. A review accusing the CEO of sexual harassment, however, is a provable fact and could expose the reviewer to a defamation lawsuit.
On Glassdoor.com, angry current and former employees and disgruntled business partners provide a toxic background for company reviews. It is important for individuals to carefully consider the potential legal consequences before leaving a review and for companies to consider their rights and available remedies when reviews cross the line.
Why Is it Difficult to Remove Content from Glassdoor?
Glassdoor relies on anonymous reviews, ratings, and salary data. Because most reviewers, especially those who will leave negative reviews, choose to remain anonymous, it is difficult to launch a defamation case without first learning the identity of the user who posted the review.
Usually, a defamation case brought against an anonymous reviewer will involve a “John Doe” subpoena to compel Glassdoor to identify the anonymous user who posted the review. Glassdoor has successfully resisted multiple attempts by companies to unmask the identity of reviewers and defend the anonymity of its users in courts throughout the U.S.
Glassdoor has also advocated anti-SLAPP legislation intended to protect free speech from being threatened by litigation or forms of harassment through the court system.
The broad protection from liability included as part of the Communications Decency Act and the challenges companies face in bringing a defamation action against an anonymous user make it very difficult to remove a Glassdoor review.
Glassdoor reviews that violate its Terms and Conditions or Community Guidelines may be cause for removal. A business can flag reviews to Glassdoor’s Content Moderation team.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) states that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider… [n]o cause of action may be brought and no liability may be imposed under any State or local law that is inconsistent with this section.”
In other words, user-generated content, such as ratings, reviews, forum comments, etc. would not subject a website to liability for defamation or cyber libel.
If you want to remove a defamatory review from Glassdoor, you must sue the individual who posted the content, not the website that hosted the content.
Digital Millenium Copyright Act
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice and takedown process is a tool used by copyright owners to remove material that infringes on their copyright to be “taken down” off Glassdoor. Reviews rarely violate copyright, but there may be circumstances when photos, business records, and other intellectual property are republished without permission.
The takedown notification must be in writing and sent to [email protected] It must include the following:
- A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on the copyright owner’s behalf.
- Identification of the owner’s copyrighted work that is claimed to be infringed.
- Identification of: the material that is claimed to be infringing, for material stored by the service provider; or the reference or link to material or activity claimed to be infringing, if the service provider is referring or linking users to an online location containing infringing material or activity.
- The complaining party’s contact information.
- A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that the infringing material is not authorized by the copyright owner, the copyright owner’s agent or law.
- A statement that the information in the notice is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.
Fair Use is a legal doctrine that permits the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances.
Fair Use is a determination made on a case-by-case basis. Certain types of uses — such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research — are examples of fair use.
Glassdoor reviews, even if copied from another website or source, would probably qualify as fair use, under the criticism exception.
How to Remove a Post on Glassdoor
There are many different ways to manage negative reviews on Glassdoor:
Respond to negative reviews
You can create a free employer account to monitor reviews posted about your company and respond directly. It is advisable to respond to all reviews, positive and negative. This shows a high level of employer engagement and can be very effective in addressing areas of concern to current or future employees.
Ask current employees to leave reviews
One of the most effective ways to improve your reputation on Glassdoor is to proactively encourage positive reviews. Your employees should be your strongest advocate and the most effective public relations team. In our experience, when a company owner or senior executive shares the importance of positive reviews on a company’s reputation and encourages reviews on websites like Glassdoor, employees will gladly share their positive experience.
While there may be a temptation to offer incentives to employees to write a positive review, honest and authentic feedback is much more impactful.
Take legal action
If there is no other option, a company can hire a lawyer and seek a court order for the removal of content. As discussed above, this can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Courts are reluctant to take any action that would chill free speech and the negative publicity that may result from a defamation lawsuit may outweigh the damage of the negative review.
Hire an online reputation management company
Reputation Rhino has helped companies and business owners improve Glassdoor reviews and remove or suppress negative content from the first pages of Google, including reviews on Glassdoor.com.
Contact our team today to learn more!