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Articles: ESLwatch accused of Extortion!For the last seven years ESLwatch has been dealing with threatening emails from schools, recruiters and individuals almost on a daily basis, that shows that ESLwatch is a powerful free resource, which we are very proud of. Anyhow, recently we had an email from a school the gist of it is below:

" I would like to report a serious abuse of defamation on your site. Could you please remove the posts regarding (school name removed). This has been an ongoing abuse. The information in these posts are false and abusive. We have been attacked from a former staff member

with defamation on various sites, including yours.

Here are the URL on your site containing the posts:

(Link Removed)

Please remove the posts and confirm. Thank you."

Of course we have a standard letter, please see our FAQ's, we do not remove reviews on posters behalf, yarda, yarda, yarda. Standard stuff really.

We had further communication that they did not know, who wrote the review, and if we could point them in the right direction by releasing the email address of the reviewer. Again, standard stuff, no we do not release email or IP addresses for any reason, we do not even give clues to the users who have lost their details, and we certainly do not release any information on the review poster. We advised school on how to manage their reviews and pointed them to our tips on managing reviews, we also advised them, they could send an email to past and present staff and request removal, which in our opinion is not the right way to handle a review, but that is a write-up for later.

A few days later, we had an email from the person who wrote the review asking us to remove it, as they had been threatened by their previous school with legal proceedings and they were now scared of legal repercussions. We politely informed them that unfortunately we could not remove the post and to read our FAQ's, and he/she had to remember their email address to login to remove the post themselves. In this communique we advised them that the school would not take them to court as it is very expensive and would cost a lot more money than than what was owed, as suggested in the review posted by reviewer. The school certainly would not want the publicity or government agencies scrutinizing their business.


A week when by and we had another email by school the gist of it was:

“We had to pay our previous teacher the money owed and compensation for undue stress because ESLwatch facilitated in extortion with the reviewer in not removing the review when requested, and will be seeking legal action from our lawyers in regaining this money from ESLwatch and our previous teacher (name withheld).”  

It seems that the reviewer had sent the email we wrote to them, to the school and added that he/she wanted to be paid the money illegally held by the school and compensation for stress.

Note: The review was removed by the reviewer, we never even had a thank you, or a donation.

Needless to say, we sent a well formed letter the the school. The basics stating that it was the school's responsibility to pay their employees and we are not responsible for their employees actions on reclaiming monies illegally held by them. We of course do not condone extortion in any form and the site was never built for that. We also, expressed on them, that they had a responsibility to manage the review with which we pointed them to our “how to manage reviews” page. Rather than using threats against employees and legal action against this site.  

Needless to say, we never received another communique. Why should they, the review was removed by the reviewer, the reviewer was paid his/her monies due and ESLwatch has lost another review from another terrible school.

Update since this Article was written (12/06/2017)

We thought we will take some time to follow this article up. ESLwatch has had, since the initial article, 27 reviews have been removed, which 8 is from Korea, so I will break down what seems to be happening from what is known for Korea. Note: Some gaps have been filled with speculation.


8 of the reviews posted, 6 of them was taken down due to teachers writing reviews in a way that points to who they are. Silly things like using their real name in their username, giving clues to past arguments and you guess it, who they worked with. So, the school was able to ascertain the teacher was. The institutes then wrote a standard threatening letters to the teachers, some of the schools went as far as contacting the parents of the teachers to pressurise the teachers into folding and removing the review.


Out of them 6 who folded, one teacher, who was owed money held out and has recently been paid his full monies owed by the school. No relation to the one in the article, and has since removed their reviews.


The other two is far more interesting as they never had any money owed to them, ESLwatch did however have an email from the schools expressing their wish to pay for the review to be removed, after realising that they will have to go to court with us. As normal the institutes never bothered read the FAQs, as they have been in contact with the reviewer (known by the school). The reviewer told them in no uncertain terms that the review will stay as they knew the review was factual and wanted the schools to make changes for the better, as suggested in our Is a bad review a bad thing?


You may or may not know, ESLwatch does not remove reviews under any circumstances see our FAQs and we politely suggested making the same offer to the teacher/s to remove the review as compensation and to sweeten the deal to implement the changes suggested by the reviewer in the review. Seeing that the review has been removed ESLwatch can now only speculate what has happened, as further contact has now creased.

Note: The review was removed by the reviewer, we never even had a thank you, or a donation.


So, why has ESLwatch bothered to write this and inform people, well as you may or not know Facebook is a insecure platform, that offers no protection when you mention or review your schools even in a closed group. Your reviews are a waste of time on Facebook as it is only seen immediately and has no longevity because it gets lost in the timeline. The proof of that is how many times do you see the same questions on Facebook? No one uses the search function that takes two seconds, but reviewers will write the same question for 2-5 minutes, so go figure.


Anyhow, by posting your review on a proper website does more damage to the institute and is easier for people to find in search engines, to be honest you are welcome to use other sites other than ESLwatch, bear in mind most offer no protection, they farm emails, sell your IP address and they will remove reviews without your permission that includes their forums. If you use any other site other than ESLwatch use a throwaway email and login via internet cafe.


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