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Online Reputation Management consists of monitoring, improving and maintaining the publicly available online information about individuals, businesses and organizations. (We also describe it is as “managing your digital footprint.”) ORM began in the mid-‘90s, in response to the proliferation of online social media and the opportunities for anonymous commentary to be made about anyone—and for that commentary to remain online forever.
If you have had a court case or appear in the Daily Mail or other tabloid, we can help. Sometimes individuals also get mixed up in the negative attention their companies receive. We can remove negative news articles in the UK and internationally also.
There have been a number of recent court cases in favour of individuals which we take advantage of on your behalf. However, we use a range of techniques to remove the articles for your name that are more than just citing laws and are all approved by Google. Negative news articles are like cluster bombs, and the same story can be copied over to a number of newspapers.
We have a tried and tested method of tackling these articles and have managed to get them completely de-indexed from Google after a few months so they don’t appear for any search.
ORM helps you create and maintain an appropriate online image so that any attacks on your image are counterbalanced with more credible, factual information. It helps remove personal addresses and other data from public databases, also known as “people search” databases. It protects your online brand from being taken over and misused by third-parties.
We can take advantage of recent GDPR laws and use them for your benefit in a tried and tested way. We will work with every step of the way, in your corner until the job is done. We measure our results on pages 1 -3 of Google and what appears there, not stats or graphs. We have experience in using these laws to remove a range of personal content about individuals including their location, image and name from the internet.
Online reputation management is necessary because anyone can say anything online — anonymously, posing as an expert or as someone else. As mentioned before, bots also continuously locate and publish any data they locate from public records found on the Internet — including telephone directories and real estate ownership records filed at county courthouses.
The engineers who developed the Internet in the late ’60s and early ’70s didn’t foresee millions of people would be online now. As Internet use evolved, no mandatory laws or universal systems were enstated to authenticate credentials and identify Internet users.
Few laws are in place to regulate or address what is said and posted online. Currently, website operators have legal immunity over what is said and posted on their sites. That means they are not held responsible for it in a court of law (except, generally, in cases that constitute defamation).
Why? Because of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, a law regulating Internet content that has not been updated to meet the tremendous proliferation of online usage and proliferation of social media platforms.
According to Section 230 of the Act, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
Blogs often will correct information that is inaccurate (the name of your company, your title or position, etc), if you contact them in a neutral, reasonable manner – the way you would a newspaper editor.
If the information is on other platforms, such as an online gossip site, you have little control over it short of legal action (if you have grounds for an online defamation suit). In many cases, any request you email to the website administrator can be ignored, declined or posted online, as these actions are compliant under the U.S. government’s Communications Decency Act.
Alongside negative content removal, we have our own method of creating a positive asset network of websites that act as a shield on pages 1 and 2. These are not spammy websites or use spammy links, but are all high quality pages people expect to see and are highly reflective of the individual and their industry. We use the highest quality most popular websites and leverage them for your benefit and link to them using a powerful mix of article links, social signals and more. Find out more about our approach by contact us and we will put together a proposal for you.
The expungement, or erasure, of public records from news providers and other resources is an issue of growing debate. In “Erasing History,” an April 29, 2013 New York Times op-ed piece, Bill Keller addresses legal and related aspects of the topic.
When any computer connects to the Internet it is assigned a unique code of numbers called an IP address. Computers connect to the Internet through Internet Service Providers (ISPs), which register the IP addresses of users.
Identifying anonymous posters can be difficult, especially if they are hiding their identity. (They can accomplish that by using Tor, a free tool that conceals IP addresses.) While logs collected by the blog host might correlate posts to a particular IP address, the address may not necessarily reveal the poster with any level of certainty. Difficulties may arise from public network use, dynamic IP address assignment, access from private networks that translate addresses, or through the use of internet proxies which are used to “sanitize” identities. If the blog is maintained in a public forum the only way to access log information is through legal action.
Legal action can result in a court order and subpoena for an ISP to identify the IP address. Law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and police departments around the country obtain IP identification every day.
The field of forensic cyber investigations is also a growing one. Such investigators often succeed in identifying anonymous posters and emailers through their IP addresses…going so far as to locate the users’ home addresses and other identifying information.
What to do when negative online information is accurate, or just appears to be so?
The first impulse of anyone who is the subject of negative online commentary is to get rid of it – especially if it is true. But even after multiple attempts to resolve the situation you may see it persist for months or years.
We find a content strategy is the best solution to counter significant negative information online about you or your company. Together with the right technology, SEO strategies and social media platforms, new content is the most effective tool in substantially diminishing the placement of negative online content.