Is Rebel Scholar asking for negative reviews to be pulled?

Seems that Geardiary isn’t the only site to receive communication from Rebel Scholar concerning a case review. Below is the email Larry received concerning his review of the Rebel Scholar Door God.

“Dear Larry,”

Our legal team has closely monitored your post on: and has found your review unacceptable. In your post, you compare the product in the box to the picture on the site, and the title of your post further substantiates a malicious attempt to defame REBEL SCHOLAR without proper justification/replication of the lighting environment/equipment used to take the picture.

We also back up our claim with the following defamation claim: ” … Why the company chooses to display an image that looks 100 times clearer and brighter that what’s actually on the case baffles me. Actually it doesn’t. They simply want to sell cases, and making them look as good as they possibly can is in their best interest.”

We will pursue further legal action if you do not remove your post immediately.

Legal Team,

Rebel Scholar.”

Now another reviewer is stating in a YouTube video that he was contacted and asked to take down a Rebel Scholar review.

YouTube – God of War review

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About the Author

Wayne Schulz
Wayne is a diehard Android user and consultant specializing in Sage 100 ERP Accounting Software. He lives in Glastonbury CT with his two children. When not helping them with their homework or pushing the latest school fundraiser off on his co-workers, he is active hiking and investigating all manner of technology.

17 Comments on "Is Rebel Scholar asking for negative reviews to be pulled?"

  1. RT @GearDiarySite: Is @RebelScholar asking for negative reviews to be pulled?

  2. RT @GearDiarySite Is Rebel Scholar asking for negative reviews to be pulled?

  3. Is Rebel Scholar asking for negative reviews to be pulled? (via @GearDiarySite)

  4. RT @GearDiarySite: Is @RebelScholar asking for negative reviews to be pulled?

  5. @mactouchntocco lol dont do a bad review haha.

  6. Ellen Beeman | August 12, 2009 at 8:13 am |

    Unbelievable. The review is incredibly clear about the lighting conditions under which the photos were taken. And a vague, clearly written by an amateur legal threat? What an amazing way to generate a lot of negative press. Nicely done, Rebel Scholar.


  7. Writing for GD has given me the opportunity to review numerous iPhone cases. I have reviewed cases from iSkin, Agent18, Sena, Case-Mate and the list goes on and one. I have said good things about those cases I liked. I have said great things about those cases I loved. And I said critical things about those cases that I thought had issues. Not once has a company asked me to take down a review. Not once have they asked me to remove a video. Not once have they threatened legal action. In fact, in one case a company wrote me back and thanked me for my honesty and said that they’d actually saved the e-mail for reference when updating the design in the future. (Now I don’t know whether or not they did that but that’s not the point, the point is they didn’t threaten me with a legal action or some other strong arm tactic.) In fact, in every case that I was critical of something the company has continued to ask me to review their products.

    They actually want honest feedback. Sure they love it when it’s a good review but if it’s not a good review they understand that that’s part of what happens

    In this case, when an iPhone case costs $100 and doesn’t include anything but the case and a packaging box which can be used to hold other cases, in other words it doesn’t even include a screen protector, it SHOULD be criticized as being a poor value. And if a case costs $100 and the hole for the camera lens is a little bit off and there is still some plastic dust from the manufacturing process that will scratch the iPhone (as was the case in another review), it should be criticized.

    It doesn’t mean that someone is out to destroy the company. All it means is that someone is doing an honest job of reviewing a case, sharing the good and sharing the bad. To threaten legal action for such things??? Outrageous. How about putting the energy into making the products better??

    So the question is this… with so many good companies and so many case options out there why in the world whould I ever choose to do business with a company like this???

    The answer is simple… I don’t.

    Sent from my iPhone

  8. Have an iPhone? Want a case? Don’t ever EVER buy from Rebel Scholar …

  9. Very nicely said, Dan. Most of my time before Gear Diary was doing exclusively video game reviews … and some of my reviews were terribly scathing, including quoting things said to me in interviews and preview PR releases with the reality of how things happen.

    I’ve had long discussions with some of those folks, and needless to say they weren’t thrilled about them, but I have never seen anything like this. Heck, I’ve even gotten into a discussion based on a review here and found it pretty productive rather than combative – which made me think ‘hey these guys care’ rather than ‘they are just trying to bully out a positive review.

  10. “Legal Team”? I think providing definitive credentials would add a bit more gravitas to the message. It might scare off or intimidate teen bloggers in mom and dad’s basement, but us older cynics prefer proof. A nice certified letter with the firm’s boilerplate in the letterhead would be the preferred modus operandi.

    Though before leveling vague legal broadsides, it’d be best for the manufacturer to be sure their own ducks are in a row, lest they be liable for false advertising or running afoul of recent FTC changes/guidelines for product reviewing.

    It really ought to be a simple test. Box shot shows a case with a very visible image. User receives case. Case either shows the advertised image clearly or it doesn’t. For any review it is Larry’s (or anyone else) job to accurately and fairly portray the product and his opinion of said product. In this instance the bone of contention isn’t really subjective, such as “I think the color should be green, not red”, it falls into the realm of a tangible, demonstrable fact, supported by Larry’s pictures. The end user perception in seeing product shots is that the product received will appear as depicted, especially since the selling point of the product is in fact its design visibility. This boils down to “does the product work as claimed?” observation. Larry did in fact write that he “e-mailed Rebel Scholar again just to make sure they’d seen the pictures I’d sent, and if they had seen them I wanted to offer the suggestion that they might want to consider changing the image they’re using for the Door Gods case to one which more properly represented what the case looks like.”

    And there is the crux of the matter. If I have to throw the case in a lightbox with bright lamps and an overhead chimera to reproduce the product depiction as shown by the images, that’s not exactly fair to me consumer to satisfy my expectations, is it? One wonders if the site product shot could be construed as a deceptive marketing practice (again, Larry brought faithful image reproduction to Rebel Scholar’s attention via email).

    If reviewers have to be inordinately wary of defamation suits, well then they may as well close up shop.

  11. When the day comes that we stop giving our honest opinion in reviews because we are worried about a company’s “legal team”, it will be time to shutter the site.

  12. RT @GearDiarySite: Is @RebelScholar asking for negative reviews to be pulled?

  13. Impressively ballsy. Judie, you summed it up well as did you breley.

    I’ve been writing reviews for 10 years and I can only recall twice being threatened with legal action for a negative review. In both case, as far as I know, neither company exists anymore.

    There is truth in that the blogosphere does influence purchasing decisions but if you make a questionable product, well, that’s the breaks now ain’t it?

  14. Raymond Ser | August 12, 2009 at 4:58 pm |

    Rebel Scholar doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on; in fact, Larry could probably countersue them for misrepresentation or harassment or something (I’m not a lawyer). The fact that they changed the product image on their website is as good as them admitting culpability, and shows how sneaky and unethical they are. Glad he didn’t back down. And I think that all the people who bought that case before the product image was switched, should be entitled to a full refund.

    Does anyone else think that the company is being run by a bunch of whiny teenagers from their parents’ garage?

  15. The funniest phrase in the whole thing is the first three words, ‘our legal team’ ! LOL ! Who’s that, a cousin who watches ‘Judge Judy’ 5 days a week?

  16. iPhone3GReviewer2009 | September 20, 2009 at 11:51 pm |

    @TheTechReviewer read this now!

  17. iPhone3GReviewer2009 | September 21, 2009 at 12:12 am |

    @TheAppleiHelp hey dude. read this link and all of it right now! THANKS

Comments are closed.