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The “dirtiest” hotels on one of TripAdvisor’s lists sued for defamation, but because the lists are based off a compilation of user reviews, it is should be understood that they represent opinions, not facts.
“Best of” and “worst of” rankings are perennially popular fodder for publications. They are great for grabbing headlines, stirring up controversy and baiting hyperlinks. Their sensationalism means rankings–especially “worst of” rankings–also can be litigation-bait. Fortunately, a recent court ruling found that publishing a “best of”/”worst of” ranking didn’t create defamation liability. Surely, this opinion will appear on several “best of 2012″ lists itself.