Are there any laws against applying sentiment analysis on people, places, or things using open source data? How about data only found on my network (proprietary user opinion of other people, places, things).

For example, could a website publish a sentiment score (positive, negative, neutral) of a public servant (say a politician or judge) or private citizen (like myself) or public figure (athlete, actress, etc)?

Does such a sentiment "score" break any liable laws or raise any other issues you can think of?

  • What jurisdiction are you in? Defamation laws vary dramatically from country to country? What is acceptable in Iowa may not be in the U.K. or Brunei.
    – ohwilleke
    Oct 10 '17 at 22:19
  • Interesting! Thank you. My servers are located in CA and NY but in theory access can be from anywhere.
    – Chris
    Oct 10 '17 at 22:21
  • That's helpful (even necessary) for an answer.
    – ohwilleke
    Oct 10 '17 at 22:23
  • I would not have thought of this, thank you for your comment
    – Chris
    Oct 10 '17 at 22:26

There is nothing illegal in the United States about publishing survey results about pretty much anything, so long as you truthfully publish what your survey reveals. Also, foreign judgments related to your publications are not enforceable in the U.S. if they don't meet U.S. legal standards.

This is particularly true in the case of sentiment surveys as they are purely matters of opinion that are not capable of being true or false in and of themselves. Defamatory matters must related to false statements of fact in the U.S.

  • +1 thank you so much for your time on this
    – Chris
    Oct 10 '17 at 22:30

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