Can I repeat other’s opinions or reviews in my YouTube videos (YouTuber Law Series)?
Can I repeat testimonials or reviews in my YouTube videos?
Lior Leser, Esq.
Technology, Internet and Software Law
We are not speaking here of your opinion or review. This we already discussed in a prior video on the laws regarding telling the truth in videos.
In this case, we’re discussing Reviews and opinions of others that you repeat or include in your videos. What are the rules?
At their core, the rules are simple… All reviews and opinions that your repeat or include must reflect the honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experience of the person providing the review.
That means that anything that you are not permitted to say … cannot be included in your videos just because someone else says them.
For example, if you know that a review of a feature of a product is just wrong (factually), then you cannot include it in your video just because it is said by someone else.
Also, you also cannot use a review in a way that misrepresents the opinion of the reviewer. For example, you cannot selectively include a portion of a review in such a way that the overall meaning of the review is likely to be misconstrued.
That does not mean that you need to repeat reviews word for word. But it cannot be taken out of context or reworded so as to distort.
If providing a product review and know that certain features were changed by the manufacturer, You cannot include someone else’s opinion that relies on the prior integration of the product.
If you are running a survey or poll and cannot be sure that responders have any experience with a product you are reviewing, you may be liable for claims made in the poll.
And if the review you include comes from an expert … you better make sure that the expert is speaking about a matter in which he is an expert. That means that a chemical engineer speaking about a watch, is not making an expert statement but rather that of a typical user.
And an engineer speaking about the efficiency of a computer processor may be providing deceptive statements if his expertise is really in textile engineering.
SO be careful. You will be held liable for reviews and statements made by others that you include in your YouTube videos.
Can you fix these problems with Disclaimers?
Can you say things like “Results not typical” or the stronger “These testimonials are based on the experiences of a few people and you are not likely to have similar results.”
The FTC already ruled on this issue. They determined that Disclaimers cannot cure misleading statements. So … No. You cannot disclaim away errors or mistakes.
That does not mean you shouldn’t use them. Just the opposite. Always include appropriate disclaimers. Its just that Disclaimers are not enough.
Do your homework. Don’t include reviews unless you can do so without misleading your listener.