Special Harm/Damages For Repetition of Defamatory Statements 
This special application of this rule allows for action when the special harm resulting from the repetition is what makes the defamation actionable. In other words, if an originator publishes a slander, which is not actionable if special harm does not result from the publication, and repetition of that slander results in special harm, the plaintiff now has an action from the defamation. If the person who repeated the defamation has privilege, the originator is liable to the plaintiff, not the person who repeated it.


If the defamation is actionable per se, the plaintiff may seek both special and general damages relative to the harm caused by the defamatory statement.


This rule applies when harm is caused because of the negative impact of a rumor, as well as harm resulting from a single person’s specific reaction to a defamatory statement.


Is Truth a Defense to Defamation?


Services to Bury Negative News Links on Google Search Results
A handful of reputable online reputation services offer solutions to deal with negative online news stories.  Depending on the situation, these companies can help remove newspaper articles from news sites, get articles removed from search engines like Google and Bing and/or hide negative news links on search engines using search engine suppression or Reverse SEO, as mentioned above. 


Defamation Defenders and ReputationDefenders are a couple noteworthy ORM firms that specializes in helping individuals and organizations handle negative news articles online and clean up online reputation problems.

Additional News Article Removal Resources

Below you'll find links to some useful resources on Removing Negative Content from Online News Publications.


Maintaining a positive presence in search results of the major search engines is crucial to the success of professionals and companies in today’s data-driven economy. Offensive social media posts or profiles or unflattering information (such as criminal background check results, arrest records, etc.) that show up on search results for your name can adversely impact your professional career, dating life and relationships with friends and family.


Among the six elements required for someone to successfully sue another for defamation is the requirement that the statement beIs the truth a defense for online defamation?  false. If the statement is true, there is no liability and there can be no recovery.


According to common law the burden of proof relative to the truth or falsity of a statement is on the defendant. Truth is an absolute defense, but there are several considerations in determining the truth or falsity of a statement.


A statement does not have to be truthful down to every detail. A few inaccuracies still can lead to a statement that is true in substance. It also is important to note that while reasonable doubt applies before a jury, simple implication or a preponderance of the evidence is enough when considering a whether a person has been defamed.

If a statement alleges specific behavior or a specific crime that was committed by the Plaintiff, the statement is true and there is no liability. However, if the allegation is general, wording and implication become significant in determining truth. A person may not truthfully be accused of repetitive bad behavior if that behavior was engaged in only one time. Rutherford v. Paddock, 180 Mass. 289, 62 N.E. 381 (1902).

A statement is not considered truthful simply because another person said it. While it may be true that the statement was made by another, if the content of that statement is false, the person repeating it is liable, as well as the original publisher. Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. v. Robinson, 233 Ark. 168, 345 S.W.2d 34 (1961).


Removing Negative Google Search Engine Results
Below you'll find a beginners guide to getting stuff removed from search engine results.  If you have questions or need assistance using the form above to get in touch with a company that specializes in removing harmful information from the internet.


How to Remove Negative or Unwanted Content from Google Search

Remove Outdated Content from Search Results
Option 1: Remove the Content Yourself, then De-Index the URL to get the negative link of Google Search Results

If you own the website on which the content you want removed is published, then removing it from Google Search is quite easy.  All you need to do is delete the content or webpage from your site.  Once you've done this you can use Google's Outdated Content Removal tool to notify Google that the content is no longer present and the link is dead.  Once Google has confirmed that the content in question is indeed gone, the link will typically disappear from search results within 72 hours, but could take as long as one month.

Note: This solution will only work to remove content from a website that you own.

Option 2: Use Copyright Laws to Remove Negative Content from Google Search
Copyright Infringement Remove Content from Google

Option 3: Use the EU Privacy Removal Form to Submit a Personal Information Removal Request
Remove Negative Content from Google with EU Privacy Removal

More Google Search Content Removal Resources
Below you will find some useful web resources that will educate you on how to go about having negative content and private information removed from Google Search.

Learn how to manage your privacy and settings on Google Search here.
Want to secure your online identity and keep your personal information private on the internet? You can do so here.

Report violations of official Google Policy at http://services.google.com/forms/policy_report.html
How you can prevent online ID theft -http://www.google.com/goodtoknow/online-safety/identity-theft/


Get rid of offensive Autocomplete suggestions by reporting them to Google here
How to block URL’s by password protecting your server directory - https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93708


Opt-Out of display on Google+ Local and other Google properties -https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/3035947?hl=en&ref_topic=4598466
How to make legal requests to remove content from Google - Legal Removal Requests


Removing Content from Yahoo Search Results
Remove Yahoo Search Results – Yahoo Help

Protect Your privacy on Yahoo - Yahoo Safety

Removing Content from Bing Search Results

Try using the Bing content removal tool to have web pages removed from Bing Search results - http://www.bing.com/webmaster/help/bing-content-removal-tool-cb6c294d

If you reside in Europe you can Request to Block Bing Search Results using the Bing Privacy Request form.

Can You Contact Google to Have Negative Search Results Removed?
posted Nov 7, 2018, 2:25 AM by Joe C   [ updated Dec 30, 2018, 2:25 AM ]
Thinking about submitting a legal request to Google to have reputation-damaging content removed from search results.  Checkout the video below before you do. It offers insight on what Google will and will not remove from its search results and why the search engine giant takes the stance that it does.


It is not enough for the defamer to believe that the content of a statement is true, although an honest mistake may be taken into consideration when determining fault as it relates to reckless disregard or negligence. Mathis v. Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc, 455 F.Supp. 406 (E.D.Pa. 1978).

It should be noted that the issue of fault, as well as on whom the burden of proof falls, is somewhat uncertain given recent Supreme Court decisions. In most states common law still presumes the falsity of a statement alleged to be defamatory, but in a few states the waters have been muddied a bit where this rule is concerned. Recent Supreme Court decisions have held that the defendant must be found at fault regarding whether the statement published is true or false, and a few courts are now putting the burden of proof as to truth or falsity on the plaintiff rather than the defendant.


A few states also now have statutes allowing truth as a defense only if the end motive justifies its publication. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, continues to indicate that these statutes would likely be unconstitutional, in that they violate the First Amendment. Garrison v. Louisiana,379 U.S. 64, 85 S.Ct. 209, 13 L.Ed.2d 125 (1964); Time, Inc. v. Firestone, 424 U.S. 448, 96 S.Ct. 958, 47 L.Ed.2d 154 (1976).


Court decisions and varying state laws have made it difficult to determine what constitutes a true statement when considering a defamation claim. The experienced attorneys at Webcide.com can help you assess your case and who has the burden of proving that truth. 


Am I Liable for Republishing Defamatory Statements?

A statement is labeled defamation—libel or slander—only if it is published. Therefore, in determining whether you have a claim or Can a person be libel for republishing defamatory content? whether you are liable relative to a potentially defamatory statement, it is important to understand not only what constitutes a publication, but what rules apply relative to republication and multiple publications.


Publication is:
Libel – Defamatory material that is intentionally or negligently provided to a third person by printed word.

Slander – Defamatory material that is intentionally or negligently provided to a third person by spoken word.

Most important in both of these definitions is that a third person—someone other than the defamer and the defamed—is involved. There is no defamation, and no liability, if the material is not communicated to a third person.


Publication occurs anytime information is conveyed to and understood by a third party. A partyis considered to have published content if he tells another person or organization to communicate the information to a third party. Even if the material is in another language, as long as a third party understands the message and its defamatory nature, publication has occurred. The defamer is considered the publisher even if the victim has actually communicated the damaging information to a third party, but only if the victim was not aware of the damaging information contained in the message. Lyon v. Lash, 74 Kan. 745, 88 P. 262 (1906).


Multiple Publications/Republished Material
Each communication of a defamatory statement is considered an individual publication and, therefore, a separate cause of action for which the publisher can be held liable. This applies to a second communication of the same material to the same person.


Also falling under this rule are different editions of the same newspaper or magazine that run the same material, additional radio broadcasts of the same report or a second airing of a movie or news show. Any of these are considered a separate publication because they are intended to reach a new audience.


An exception is the “single publication rule.” If a communication is heard by multiple people at the same time, it is a single cause of action. Likewise, a single edition of a newspaper or magazine, a single radio or television broadcast and any other presentation to an audience are all considered a single publication and a single cause of action. Regan v. Sullivan, 557 F.2d 300 (2 Cir. 1977); Hartmann v. Time, Inc., 166 F.2d 127 (3d Cir. 1947).


On the other hand, one who republishes a defamatory statement is himself liable for the defamation, even if he attributes the information to the original publisher. Times Pub. Co. v. Carlisle, 94 F. 762 (8th Cir. 1899). This is true whether the publication is libel (printed) or slander (spoken). Wheeler v. Shields, 3 Ill. (2 scam.) 348 (1840).


The only exception is if a publisher is protected by privilege, such as a statement in a court of law. It is important to note that if an original publisher of a damaging statement is protected by privilege, this does not protect a republisher, who may still be liable for the second publishing. Also, a slanderous statement that may not have been considered actionable per se could be actionable if a republisher publishes the statement in written form.


Liability as the Publisher
The person who knowingly publishes a defamatory statement is liable to the person who has been defamed. Negligence or intent to publish will be considered relative to liability, however.


If the defamer behaves in such a way that reasonable people believe he should have recognized there was a great likelihood of the damaging material being conveyed to a third party, the defamer will be held liable. However, if a reasonable person would believe the communication was accidental and the behavior of the defamer did not exhibit a great likelihood of the information being published, there is no liability. Roberts v. English Mfg. Co., 155 Ala. 414, 46 So. 752 (1908).


If the defamer instructs another party to publish material that is defamatory, such as a publishing house, printer or broadcaster, that party may also be liable for the defamation if the printer or publishing house is typically aware of the content of what it publishes or could find out whether the material is defamatory. If that party is merely a transmitter—that is, he delivers the material by way of selling a publication, renting it or in some way passing it on to a third person—he would not be liable for the defamation unless he had some reason to know of the defamatory nature of the material. Cardozo v. True, 342 So.2d 633 (Fla.App. 1977).


A person responsible for or who has control over a medium that is displaying or exhibiting defamatory material may become liable for failure to remove the defamatory material if it is within his or her power to do so. Such a person is not obligated to take unreasonable or burdensome measures to remove defamatory material, but if the offending content can easily be removed, he or she may be held liable if it is not removed. Hellar v. Bianco, 111 Cal.App2d 424, 244 P.2d757 (1952).