In an attempt to stop the forever feared bad Yelp review, property managers of a Florida apartment complex have actually banned residents from posting negative reviews about their property online. An anonymous resident of Windermere Cay sent Ars Technica the contract they were asked to sign, pointing to the absolutely absurd "Social Media Addendum" and rightfully labeling it "ridiculous." The addendum bans "negative commentary and reviews on Yelp, Apartment Ratings, Facebook, or any other website or Internet-based publication or blog."
What's even more absurd is the price for breaching the agreement: $10K to be paid in ten business days and an additional $5K for each subsequent breach. The agreement also yields copyrights of "any and all written or photographic works regarding the Owner, the Unit, the property, or the apartments" to the owner, giving them the right to notify a website to take down any content featuring their precious property. So essentially, if you were to post Facebook photos of say, a party you threw in your apartment, and they didn't paint a picture of the complex the landlords were fond of, they could have them taken down.
Because the Streisand effect is swift and unyielding, it seems the nefarious landlords of Windermere Cay (which by the way is adjacent to Walt Disney World) are going to have to suffer from even more negative reviews. Since this story broke, several residents (or very possibly redditors) have posted one star reviews.
Here's a few, erm, colorful highlights from Yelp:
Trip S. from Los Angeles, CA: "The Windmere apartment building sexually assaulted me. Tentacles grew from the wall at night and felt my buttocks."
Matt L. from Carrollton, TX: "This filthy hole would make a pig sty burst with pride at it's cleanliness. As for the management, they're the kind of people you love to hate, not in a 'Man, I hate my ex-wife!' kind of way but in a 'Hey, that's the child molester who poaches endangered rhinos!' kind of way."
Nate C. from Green Lake, WI: "If you are that worried about negative reviews, that just makes me ask one question. What are you hiding?"
Indeed. Need we mention that the tipline is open?