At first, you are bewildered as to how this hard work and reputation you built evaporated overnight. You head home at night and decide to Google your company. To your shock and surprise, a litany of intensely negative reviews that attack you personally are featured on the first page of results. The posts on user-generated content review platforms call you a thief, liar, criminal, and many other things that cannot be reproduced in polite conversation. The false reviews have obviously been posted to attack your business and hurt your ability to attract new clients and customers. At this point, you simply want to get the posts removed and pursue legal actions for damages against all involved parties.
Business owners facing circumstances like these can rely on the experienced Internet defamation removal lawyers of Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis, LPA to pursue strategic remedies against the online abuser. We can remove the defamatory content and can also pursue legal action against the individual poster. To schedule a free and confidential initial consultation with an online defamation removal lawyer call (216) 831-0042 or contact us online today.
Can I Sue the Website Where the False & Defamatory Reviews Were Posted?
Many people who have some experience with the law may realize that even in the case of actionable defamation, there must be a party who can be held accountable for the wrongful conduct. Thus, many people think back to the basics they have heard or read about lawsuits and something about a defendant with “deep pockets” may spring to mind. For purposes of recovery and collecting on a judgment, it is important to have at least one defendant that is known and solvent. In many cases, it can make sense to seek a responsible party who is capable of providing this type of relief. However, user-generated content platforms like Yelp, Facebook, Glassdoor, and others are a special case and receive certain special protections.
Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, certain publishers who do not exercise editorial control receive safe harbor protection from liability for materials posted to their website. In other words, web sites that post user-generated content receive broad immunity from liability for the content of these posts. While these sites receive immunity, many are willing to work with concerned business owners who are targets of abuse. Building a case and presenting evidence showing that the posts are false, malicious, and causing harm may spur the site to prevent further abuse of their platform.
Can I Sue the User Responsible for Writing & Posting the Malicious & False Reviews or Attacks?
While suing a user-generated content website is a near-surefire way to face a countersuit due to the protections provided by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the same protections are not afforded to the individual poster. That is, the individual who posts or writes a defamatory account can be held financially liable for their malicious and false statements. However, in many cases the original poster will use a pseudonym in an attempt to shield their identity and escape liability for their wrongful acts. However, there are methods where the identity of the poster can be revealed. In some cases, the website themselves may release the information upon a valid and sufficient showing by the victim. In other cases, the victim of the defamation may file a John Doe lawsuit and seek a court order or subpoena to reveal the identity of the defendant. In any case, an experienced lawyer can help you identify the defaming party and pursue appropriate legal action to protect your business and reputation and to compensate you for damages.
Internet Defamation Lawyers Fight to Protect Defamed Companies and Business Owners
If your business is facing the damaging consequences of online defamation, you probably simply want the defamation to stop and to hold the responsible party accountable for the damage they have caused. However, rushing headlong into legal action may result in facing a counterclaim and other unnecessary legal wrangling. When facing Internet defamation, contact the experienced Internet defamation removal lawyers of Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis, LPA. To schedule a free and confidential online defamation removal consultation call (216) 831-0042 or contact us online today.