How to handle a defamatory attack to your online reputation
How to handle a defamatory attack to your online reputation ? How to Respond to Online Brand and Reputation Attacks ? How to deal with online defamation ?
Defamatory attacks can originate from many online sources. The attackers are usually disgruntled employees, dissatisfied investors, unhappy customers, competitors and extortionists who are upset with a company and want to damage it , as muh as possible .
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According to the blog search engine Technorati, 94% of bloggers will retract, edit, or delete incorrect information if you contact them. That’s good news, because that’s the approach you should take when being defamed online. Rather than hand this immediately to your attorney and incur the extra expense, your first contact should be a direct email or letter.
The tone of the letter should be friendly but firm. Explain that the author of the defamatory content has made a mistake in their statement. Provide them with correct information and explain that the continued publication of the inaccurate comments will hurt you financially.
Your goal here is to avoid putting their backs against the wall. If you start out with a full on “cease and desist” letter, you may panic them in to doing something that could be further detrimental to your reputation—such as trying to invoke a David versus Goliath story with their audience. Instead, a casual email will suffice in letting them know that they have made a mistake, showing them how to make things right, and subtly implying that any lack of cooperation will leave you with no choice but to pass the matter to your legal counsel and pursue litigious recourse.
You goal is to get the inaccurate information removed from the web. While a court victory is the only guaranteed method to achieve this, it’s not the only way.
Report them to their registrar – some domain name registries have strict policies that prevent web sites from making money from defamatory attacks or from engaging in criminal activities.
Report them to their hosting company – in the same manner, check to see if the blog or news site is violating any terms and conditions of their web host provider.
Report them to their social network – while Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest et al might not care that someone is defaming you, if that detractor is using your own trademarked name as their profile name, then you might be able to gain ownership of the account by submitting evidence of your trademark.
Report them to Google – if you find that your detractor is violating Google’s guidelines about search engine optimization (SEO) spam, let the search giant know. Black hat SEO practices get web sites banned from Google’s index every day. Likewise, if you see that they are using, and abusing, Google’s AdSense ads then you can submit a complaint and have their earnings invalidated. Cutting off the income of someone defaming you is one way to get their compliance.
These four tactics are a last resort approach for removing defamation. While all are perfectly legal, some of your stakeholders might question you for taking such extreme steps. Use with caution.
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