For many, Internet slander is a major problem; one that seems nearly impossible to avoid or overcome in any meaningful way. Even the cost and time of a slander lawsuit will reap little-to-no reward in terms of removing the post or mitigating any harm. Once the suit is over, the damage to one’s reputation has probably already been done.
As experts in negative information removal, we understand what it takes to remove Internet slander. With a vast array of removal and suppression resources and expertise at our disposal, we are equipped to process nearly any online slander removal request, and to do so in a fast and discreet fashion.
Websites like Thedirty.com, RipoffReport.com, Cheaterville.com, Scam.com, Jerk.com, PissedConsumer.com, and literally thousands of others like them are quickly establishing themselves as places people can go to gripe, smear, and publish negative and derogatory information about individuals and businesses alike.
Although many of these websites defend their enterprises under the First Amendment as “consumer advocacy” forums and places to expose those in our society who do not abide by our proverbial moral and social “codes” – make no mistake – these websites are fraught with abuse and are often used to spread false information and exploit unwary and innocent individuals and businesses.
These websites wield a huge amount of power. Information published on these sites will typically appear prominently on the first page of Google’s search engine results and is available for the entire world to see with only a few clicks of the mouse. Just as fortunes have been made by leveraging the power of search engines, if you or your business have the misfortune of being named on one of these sites, it can ruin and destroy your personal or your business’s reputation
Even worse is the seeming lack of recourse available to combat and take down content posted on these sites and the Internet in general.
Once this content is published, many of these websites have policies preventing its removal by anyone, including the author, under any circumstance, regardless of the veracity of the content published or harm that it may be causing. Other times, sites will agree to remove content if a one-time or monthly fee is paid or an expensive arbitration service is used. These options understandably generate intense frustration and anger from victims who have been unfairly attacked on the pages of these nefarious enterprises
Fortunately, our nation’s laws and information providers are beginning catch up with the times and legal options are gradually becoming available to remove this type of unfair content from the Internet. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown request: The DMCA is a federal law that addresses the issue of copyright infringement. This is typically utilized when a client’s copyrighted photo has been posted on a website without their consent. If we submit a DMCA notice on behalf of a client to a website, and the website does not remove the client’s photo or remove it “expeditiously,” this may open up the opportunity to sue the website for copyright infringement. In the event of non-compliance by a website, there are numerous other entities (i.e hosting provider, search engines) we can send a DMCA notice to in order to get the infringing photo removed. We have utilized this strategy to successfully remove images as well as damaging posts from offending websites. In other cases where websites and hosts are intentionally difficult to contact, a DMCA takedown can be submitted to search engines in order to de-index links and photos from search results.
Internet slander is a serious problem that can have enormous consequences for you, your business and your online brand well into the future. Our removal professionals work fast to ensure you are protected as quickly as possible.
Negative information removal has been our specialty since 2010. Since that time, we have successfully processed and completed thousands of removal requests for clients throughout the globe, and we continue to do so with unmatched speed and proficiency.
If online slander is affecting you, your business and your reputation, give us a call today. Our removal experts will design and implement a personalized removal solution that will help you achieve the presence, brand and online reputation you deserve.
If information posted on a website is defamatory, but the author is unable and the website is unwilling to voluntarily remove the information (like Ripoff Report), options are still available to effectuate its removal. A little known remedy that circumvents this dilemma is obtaining a court order to remove specific website URLs from search engines results.
Here’s how it works: the harmed party must sue the individual that authored the information and obtain a valid court order declaring the content on the website defamatory and/or illegal. The court order can then be presented to a search engine, like Google, which voluntarily removes websites containing defamatory content from its search results upon being presented with a valid court order.
Although the content remains on the website where it was originally posted, once it is removed from search engine results it is essentially gone for most practical purposes. The content will not be viewed unless someone goes to the exact URL address or happens to search the website where the content is located.
This remedy can be more difficult if the identity of a poster is anonymous or unknown. Nevertheless, even this hurdle can usually be overcome through the discovery process and use of forensic Internet experts; however, I reserve discussion of this interesting and complex topic for another day.
These days the Internet can be a dangerous place for the reputations of individuals and businesses alike. In the words of Warren Buffet, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”
If you or your business is a victim of online libel, you are not powerless. It is likely that options with a good probability of success may be employed to get the content removed from Internet or search engine results.
In many cases, your only option may be to commence litigation. To the extent that the website, webhost or ISP requires a court order before revealing an anonymous user’s identity or removing anything from the website, your task may become more challenging. Your likelihood of success in obtaining the subpoena, identifying the perpetrator and having the content removed will depend on several factors, including the jurisdiction that you’re filing the lawsuit in (and the burden that its laws place on you as the plaintiff), the context of the statement(s) at issue and your status (as a public or a private figure). Depending on the court that you are in, a determination may be made by the judge as to whether you have a valid case – before the court will even consider issuing a subpoena.
One important element to consider before commencing a lawsuit is your ability to prove your damages. In any complex litigation, this may be a daunting task. Establishing reputational damage in a defamation case will often require a good amount of evidence. Depending on the laws of your jurisdiction, if you can establish defamation per se, which includes injurious statements about another’s trade, business, or profession, damages are typically presumed.