The Virginia Court of Appeals ruled that Yelp must turn over the names of seven anonymous reviewers who criticized a prominent Virginia carpet cleaning business. The owner of the Virginia-based Hadeed Carpet Cleaning claims that non-customer users are leaving negative reviews – an action which violates Yelp’s terms of service. To support his claims, the owner’s attorneys issued a subpoena demanding the names of the seven anonymous reviewers, whose comments suggested unfair business practices and deceptive advertising. The Virginia Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court ruling upholding the subpoenas and declaring that the comments were not protected speech under the First Amendment because the users were noncustomers, and were therefore making false claims. Judge William G. Petty, author of the majority opinion, proclaimed: “Generally, a Yelp review is entitled to First Amendment protection because it is a person’s opinion about a business they patronized.” However, he added, First Amendment rights do not cover deliberately false statements, such as those from an anonymous user who has never visited the particular business. The decision may have far-reaching implications on the free speech and personal protections afforded to those who post anonymously on the internet. On the other hand, many argue that the decision is based upon specific regulations in Virginia, which make it easier to “unmask” those who make potentially libelous anonymous comments online.