Can You Remove an Online Review?

Is it ever an option to simply remove an online review? So much attention is given to how to respond, but what about when the negative comments just go too far?


As a business owner, you can’t report every review that’s unfavorable, but you can take action when some published content goes too far. Ultimately, it’s up to the website the review is posted on, but there are some situations in which you may get a review removed.

When the Review Contains Slander

You can ask an online review to be removed if it accuses you of a crime. Any time a published review contains slander, you have grounds to have it removed from the site in question.


When the Post Violates the Terms of Service

Profanity and attacks on a person’s character are generally not permitted on most online review sites. Reviews that threaten personal harm or name one of your employees are also likely not allowed. Report the post for a violation of terms of service, and if the site finds it does not align with their policies, they will most likely take it down.

When the Reviewer Is a Competitor

Can you prove the reviewer is an owner or employee of a competing business? If it’s clear the review was posted simply to steal potential customers, complain to the site. Just make sure you have proof!

When it’s Fake

Was the review posted by a fake profile? If you can provide proof that the reviewer isn’t a real person and was never a customer at your business, you may have a case.


When You and the Reviewer Are Involved in a Lawsuit

If you are involved in a lawsuit with the person who wrote the negative review, be it a customer or former employee, you can ask for it to be removed and your request will likely be granted.

Your Best Countermove

If the negative online review doesn’t qualify for removal, don’t get downtrodden — just get ready for your next move. The first thing you should do is try to reach out to the reviewer privately to see if you can resolve their issue. If you can come to a resolution, ask them to update their review.

If that doesn’t work, post a public response that states your side of the story, the facts (not your emotions), and a public offer to resolve the situation.

Finally, it’s time to bury the negativity for good. Start asking all your happy customers to leave positive feedback on all platforms. Even the worst negative review will lose its power when confronted with 100 positive reviews.

Want to learn how to build a favorable online reputation? Call Accrue Reviews today!