Lawyer Chris Patterson says Kiwi toy giant Zuru legal case against Glassdoor might help tame 'keyboard warriors'

  • 23/07/2022

A Kiwi lawyer says the Kiwi toy giant Zuru legal case against Glassdoor could help tame the "keyboard warriors" who feel they "can't be touched". 

Zuru took online review platform Glassdoor to a California court in a bid to find out who was behind a recent spate of scathing reviews.  Zuru told the court the reviews posted on its site were defamatory, and it planned to sue but needed to know who posted the reviews in order to do so. 

Glassdoor told the court it wanted to protect anonymous speech on its website.

The court ruled in favour of Zuru because, under New Zealand law, the company had an argument to at least plead its case for defamation.

Lawyer Chris Patterson told Newshub Nation he believes this case serves a good message to "keyboard warriors" that they can be touched and need to be able to back up their claims. 

"My own view is, is for a long time now, decades, the internet has created a Wild West Bastion with the keyboard warriors sitting in front of a screen thinking, 'I can say whatever I like and I can't be touched,'" he told Newshub Nation. 

"It's cases like this that actually, I think, serve a good message out there that, well, you aren't actually necessary that safe so make sure that you're able to back up what you were going to say. Because if it turns out that it's not true or not your honest opinion or you don't have some other legal escape mechanism, then you should be held to task.

"The damage that these sorts of reviews can do to, I mean Zuru is a large international business, but for small New Zealand businesses, I'm thinking of the one person plumber who, gets an unfair review and then that's the end of their livelihood."

Watch the full interview with Chris Patterson above.

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