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An anonymous person is posting defamatory statements about my company. What can I do to find out who it is and put a stop to it?

 

Cyber Reputation Management offers a combination of proactive and reactive strategies for protecting your online image and building your brand. Through our Consults, we illuminate how to face a crisis.

A former employee has a blog that frequently vents about our company. Do we have any legal remedies against him? My personal photographs are being used online without my permission. How can I get them removed?

Cyber Reputation Management is an internationally recognized, online reputation management agency. We develop, amplify, manage, and repair the digital brands of CEOs, business leaders, rising stars, VIPs, and their organizations. Our approach is to create a strategy tailored specifically to your situation. Our expertise has been quoted in CNBC, Consumer Reports, NBC’s Today Show, and The Wall Street Journal.

As you undoubtedly know, there is a website for pretty much everything.  That includes numerous websites that serve as forums for users to post business reviews and others specifically dedicated to business complaints.  While individuals have strong First Amendment rights to speak out against businesses (and other people), the line often is crossed when those words are intentionally false.

Most people searching the Internet typically don’t click through all the pages of results.  They generally review the top results and stop there.

If all else fails, there are ways to bury negative information on the Internet. That generally requires loading the Internet with positive content that will appear in search results about you and your business.  Your website, social media accounts, and blogs are typically good places to start.  Of course, beware of flogs (fake blogs) because they can get you into real trouble.  Reputable websites featuring your name/business generally appear at the top of search results.  If you are quoted in the media or have been published online or in print, this also is quite helpful in placing good content above the bad.

When subjects of such attention are high-net-worth individuals or philanthropists who support major political or social justice issues, every move they take is examined closely from both social and political standpoints.  When a CEO is given a raise on top of a multi-million dollar annual salary, the public evaluates its appropriateness on social media as well as on TV.  They want to know if the organization he or she heads fairly compensates its employees, has generous benefits or has had mass layoffs recently.

 

Whether you are the CEO of a public company or an active political donor, motivated and anonymous detractors can overwhelm the Internet with inaccurate and derogatory commentary about you, your organization and business. That is not an uncommon tactic. It can be used by anyone who opposes your views or would benefit from diminishing the stature of your company. Not all the news is bad, though: public figures also attract large numbers of legitimate, supportive followers. Supporting those followers with online resources can be a powerful tool in protecting a reputation.

Maintaining a low profile in the business media has also been a longstanding tactic used by individuals with high professional positions. Minimizing the visibility that results from media interviews makes them less of a target for competitors and peers and enables them to focus on doing their job…including building the key relationships that help them advance. Many people prefer to be invisible online – and not only people in high-profile positions.

 

For that reason, many leaders in business and philanthropy have only the minimum amount of biographical and other information on Internet platforms (often only on their organizations’ websites). Unfortunately, that no longer works.