Online Reputation Management for Fraudsters

In today’s day and age there are a significant number of companies promising to remove defamatory internet postings. Other companies promise less tangible results such as monitoring your reputation for new reports and managing your online reputation. Many of these offers frequently played on talk radio can sound tempting, but individuals seeking a solution to online and abuse should understand that a certain experience may come with working with a reputation management company.

 

Additionally there is a distinct level of conduct and behavior one can expect when working with a licensed professional, like a lawyer or attorney, who is subject to a professional code and owes certain duties to a client. Lawyers handle an array of legal practices and procedures every day. Rather than selling a product or a bundle of services designed in a corporate boardroom, a lawyer can recommend only those steps, including legal measures, that are likely to resolve your reputation management issue or defamatory content problem.

 

When defamatory statements are made, security breaches occur, and intellectual property rights are infringed, identifying, removing, and stopping the unlawful behavior may not be enough. An individual or business may incur irreparable reputational harm and monetary damages from a defamatory cyberattack. The Internet attorneys at Webcide.com can pursue the source of a defamatory cyberattacks, obtain court ordered judgments, and monetary verdicts to vindicate those who are falsely defamed.

 

If you have been targeted by defamatory internet posts or other malicious attacks on your reputation, an attorney can provide legal services and guidance. Since an attorney must adhere to high professional standards and must act in your best interest, you can rest assured that your matter will be handled appropriately. Furthermore, an attorney’s broad legal experience preserves all of your options in addressing the defamatory remarks or postings.

 

The DMCA is a federal law that addresses the issue of copyright infringement.  This is typically utilized when a client’s copyrighted photo has been posted on a website without their consent. If we submit a DMCA notice on behalf of a client to a website, and the website does not remove the client’s photo or remove it “expeditiously,” this may open up the opportunity to sue the website for copyright infringement. In the event of non-compliance by a website, there are numerous other entities (i.e hosting provider, search engines) we can send a DMCA notice to in order to get the infringing photo removed. We have utilized this strategy to successfully remove images as well as damaging posts from offending websites. In other cases where websites and hosts are intentionally difficult to contact, a DMCA takedown can be submitted to search engines in order to de-index links and photos from search results.

 

One of the most commonly used legal strategies to remove or de-index false and defamatory information from search results is through a court order. When a website is presented with a court order stating content they are hosting has been declared defamatory by a court of law, the website will almost always remove it expeditiously. In the unlikely event that the website does not remove the defamatory content from their website, there is a defined process to get the link (that leads to the defamatory information) removed from Google.

 

In specific circumstances obtaining a stipulated judgment is the best option for a client. “A stipulated judgment is an agreement between the parties to a case, which settles the case. Such agreement or settlement becomes a court judgment when the judge sanctions it “ – uslegal.com.Stipulated Judgments are most commonly used in one of the following scenarios: (1.) When a website that hosts user generated content has policies that state once something has been posted on their website, it will never be removed – even in the event the original poster wants to remove or redact false/defamatory information that they posted… Yes, unfortunately, websites are legally able to do this. (2.)When a poster of defamatory content online has been identified, and they agree to a stipulated judgment – which could be due to a number of reasons. Obtaining a stipulated judgment is one of quickest ways to get defamatory information de-indexed from Google.

 

In my opinion, any type of negotiation to get damaging content removed from the Internet should only be attempted by an experienced attorney that specializes in Internet Law. There are typically numerous other removal strategies to consider before seriously exploring negotiation as an option. We have worked directly with attorneys who have successfully helped our clients get damaging content removed through negotiation.