Transparent reader reviews and rankings to continue as the owner of TripAdvisor’s dirtiest hotel of 2011 lost his battle to sue TripAdvisor for defamation. According to Reuters:
Kenneth Seaton complained in a $10 million lawsuit that the ranking for his Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee was the product of a flawed rating system dependent on “unsubstantiated rumors,” and intended to irreparably damage his business and reputation. But the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Wednesday said travelers could not reasonably interpret the ranking as a statement that Grand Resort was in fact “America’s dirtiest hotel,” and that website operators deserve broad protection from lawsuits over reader-generated reviews. While the hotel’s entry had a photo of a ripped bedspread and a complaint from a TripAdvisor user about “dirt at least (1/2-inch) thick in the bathtub which was filled with lots of dark hair,” Circuit Judge Karen Nelson Moore said no one would view this to conclusively mean the hotel deserved its ranking.