Congress has passed the “Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016” preserving freedom of speech when negative reviews are posted online.

A bill protecting US customers’ right to post negative online reviews is awaiting the President’s signature.  The Senate this week unanimously passed legislation that will outlaw the use of “gag clauses” by businesses trying to silence criticism of products and services.  Following its introduction in the fall of 2015, the Consumer Review Fairness Act gained House approval in September and proceeded through the Senate on Monday.

The Consumer Review Fairness Act voids any provision of a form contract that prohibits or restricts individuals from posting written, oral, or pictorial reviews about the goods, services, or conduct of a company.  “Reviews on where to shop, eat, or stay on websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor help consumers make informed choices about where to spend their money,” Internet subcommittee ranking member Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said in a statement.

The full text of bill is noted below:

H.R.5111 – Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016