There are no doubt opinions particularly very strong ones can curve a direction of thinking.
Positive marketing can persuade the many while a negative remark can hinder a person for a long time.
People are cruel, and it has to be said there are a lot of people with a great deal of opinions without any facts to support their criticism.
Some people just dislike other people for no good reason only for nothing more than their chemistry misfire and for that can be very nasty.
I have made it my point to never accept opinions no matter how obvious or damning they seem. I take opinions as received but then make it my decision to form my own thoughts on a person or subject.
Never accept an opinion on face value always consider there is often two sides to a story and sometimes there could be multiple facets to a story. Often it is only when you get burnt yourself that this realised thinking surfaces.
So, be smart and form your own unbiased, self-researched and individual thinking.