Seeking legal counsel to remove news articles only works if at least one of the following is applicable:
The news article contains statements that are demonstrably false and defamatory
The news article copied from a source that is the rightful copyright owner of the content contained in the article.
If (1) applies to your situation, click here to learn more about submitting a legal content removal request to Google. If (2) is applicable, click here to learn how to use a DMCA takedown request to remove news from a website.
In most cases, for people trying to remove negative news, neither (1) nor (2) apply, leaving the victim of the negative news publication with no legal recourse to take to get the story removed. This leads us to a third option: use the services of a third-party online reputation management or content removal service.
What To Consider Before Trying To On Remove a Negative News Article From The Internet
When looking to remove newspaper articles from online sources that say negative things about you, there are several things to evaluate before carrying on.
These considerations can include answering all or any of the below questions:
How long has the article been online, and is it outdated already?
Is your personal information in the article (such as financial records, social security information, or data on minors)?
Is copyrighted material published within the article?
Who published the article?
Are there defamatory or derogatory comments in the article?
Is the article inaccurate or unfair?
How To Remove a Newspaper Article That is Negative From Google
So, how can you take control of your online reputation? What must happen for you to be able to remove negative press release news about your business from Google search results, and/or the Internet as well?
Bury News Article Links on Your Search Results
Burying bad news articles on internet searches can be achieved by those well versed in Search Engine Optimization and online reputation management. Suppressing a negative news link to push it off the first few pages of Google Search Results Pages (SERPs), where most people look, involves the following steps:
Set Up And Manage Your Own Public Profiles
Some websites are consistent as high ranking sites in search engine results. By creating a profile for yourself on them (using your name and some identifying information), you will be able to suppress the negative results. Make sure you set privacy settings to appear to the public and post content that you are sure won’t make you regret later.
Stay Active On The Internet By Commenting Publicly In Forums, News Articles, And Social Media
You can use your name to sign up on news sites and comment on the articles posted there. If you are prepared for a self-censorship, posting content under your actual name can be a big plus. It is a smart way to sell yourself. With the knowledge that whatever you say online will show up when anyone Googles you, it is smart to make good use your postings. Try to post intelligent, spell-checked, and grammatically-correct, well-reasoned content.
Newspapers are an important historical resource, and they’re proud of this fact. They’re generally quite hostile to the idea of deleting or removing published articles, although they are usually willing to delete defamatory or reputation-damaging comments that readers have posted to an article.
In some cases, judges have ordered newspapers to expunge news reporting in cases where the criminal record has also been expunged. Obviously, it’s not very useful to have your criminal record cleared when the original charges top your Google search results. But unless you have a court order, news publications will generally avoid removing entire articles, instead preferring to print corrections, retractions or follow-up pieces. There are some exceptions, however.
Reasons that news organizations will or won’t unpublish articles
Of course, sometimes a correction isn’t enough, but there is very little industry consensus as to when the complete unpublishing of an article is justified. In 2009, Kathy English of the Toronto Star released an in-depth study on the issue: ”The Longtail of News: To Unpublish or Not to Unpublish.“ Almost 80 percent of editors surveyed said they had deleted articles in the past, but their reasons varied widely, so it’s a good idea to read this report before you approach any newspaper with an unpublishing request.
The top two reasons newspapers have deleted articles, according to English’s study, were:
The content is viewed as inaccurate or unfair: 67% of respondents
Inflammatory or defamatory language or comments: 48.7% of respondents
The reasons least likely to get an article unpublished were as follows:
Source rethinks what they want a wider audience to know about them: 0.0% of respondents
Concerns that the post contains private information: 10.4% of respondents
These insights can help you determine the right approach for how to remove news articles from the Web and protect your online reputation.
How to contact a news source about a removal request
Once you have determined that you have a good reason for getting an article removed or altered, follow these steps:
Find out who was in charge of publishing the article. Generally this is the editor, managing editor or newsroom manager, but titles vary from publication to publication. If you can’t find this information online, call the organization.
Contact the newspaper by phone, and talk to the person responsible for publishing your article. If you can’t reach him or her, move up the chain of command until you do get to talk to someone. Don’t leave a message. Journalism professionals are extremely busy, and non-urgent voicemails or emails may fall by the wayside.
When you do reach the right person on the phone, be polite. Editors are used to taking abuse from unhappy readers, so you can’t intimidate them by threatening to sue the publication or by using aggressive language. Instead, try to win them over by clearly stating your case and by providing legitimate reasons for the unpublishing.
Stay on the phone until you solve the issue. If the editor requires further documentation, offer to send it by email or regular mail, and then follow up again by phone.
Contact the newspaper offices, to explain that there is a correction you have to make. Ask for the department that ran your story, which can include the city desk, the sports desk or the features desk. Go to the newsroom and editors if you know that it is only the online edition of the article, not the print version, that contains the offending content about you.
Link Amongst Your Different Sites
One way that Google determines the rank of a website in search page results is by analyzing the number of times that other sites linked to it. You can make your content rank above the negative newspaper article on Google search results by linking it back to itself. Take for example, after creating a Twitter account, you connect it to your FormSpring and connect both of them to your Facebook page, before linking them to your Blogger page.
Additionally, the more your social media and other online accounts are used to interact with others, the more they are likely to link to your content, helping to push these results up higher on search results and bury the unwanted news article.
What to do if your request is rejected, or if the removal doesn’t help
The hard truth is that most of the time, newspapers will reject your request to have an article unpublished. News organizations’ primary responsibility is to report objectively, not to protect your online reputation, and they themselves may face criticism if they unpublish materials too readily.
Even if you do get your article unpublished, deleted articles can sometimes remain on the Internet anyway. A blogger may have republished it, or the article may come up in an Internet news archive. Over the past few years, comprehensive online newspaper archives dating back to the 1600s have become a tremendous resource for historians. Unfortunately, these archives are also an online reputation risk when they publish your deleted news articles. HighBeam Research and Encyclopedia.com are two of the most popular of these archive sites.
Take Down Negative Keywords
If the searches for your name are positive, but include a particular keyword that brings negative or unwanted news articles in search engine results, ensure you reclaim that term. For example a search for James Monty comes positive, but a search for James Monty + State College results in negative search results. James Monty should start with the phrase State College on the positive content creation so as to associate it with your good reputation.
We Can Help You Remove Negative News Articles from Search Results and Clean Up Your Internet Reputation
The online reputation of every individual is very precious. This is why we are a company that have developed highly advanced solutions to help you remove this kind of internet information, thus protecting your online reputation. The majority of the newspapers don’t care about your reputation and online privacy, but we do. We have created strategies to address this exact issue. So if you want remove your name from a newspaper article that shows up online, it will be wise to contact us for more information on the issue.