The posting of private information on the Internet by a third-party can lead to a broad array of harms and harassment. In fact, certain online groups of vigilantes “dox” — release private information including home address, phone number, medical records and Social Security number – and encourage their followers to harass the individuals. In some cases they may order unwanted products and services to the victims home. In other cases they may make harassing or threatening calls to the victim’s home. In particularly egregious cases, they may even post information about the victim’s children such as where they go to school. In any case, the posting of private facts and information online can lead to a sense of violation along with actual real world harms. In many cases the longer the information stays up, the more intense the harassment becomes.
However, you don’t have to live with the harassment or abandon the life you have built. The Internet defamation removal attorneys of Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis, LPA can work to remove these private facts from the sites where they appear. We guarantee the removal of the fact, or we guarantee your money back. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced online defamation removal lawyer call us at (216) 831-0042 or contact us online today.
Generally, one of the most important legal distinctions that can be made is whether a piece of information is considered a public fact or a private fact. However, many sites are willing to remove both public and private facts – especially when it results in harassment or endangers the individual. However, if you want to take further legal action down the line or the site is non-cooperative, this distinction is often important.
A private fact is a fact that the user does not and has not disclosed to the public at large. Therefore, anything you have posted publicly on the Internet is now a public fact. However, the use of privacy settings may preserve a fact’s private status. Additionally, a private fact is a piece of information that is not generally revealed to the public and is not a legitimate public concern. For instance, the publication of a person’s name is almost assuredly a public fact. However, disclosures regarding their medical status or having a disease, financial issues, Social security number, or marital issues would likely qualify as a private fact for private citizens.
Despite the distinction discussed above, many sites will remove personal information that was not disclosed or authorized to be disclosed by an individual regardless of whether it is a public or private fact. However, most sites are particularly sensitive to the publication of information that can endanger the health and safety of individuals. For instance, a post detailing the home address of a company executive that encourages others to “storm their castle” or commit other acts of violence would likely fall well within the removal policy of Facebook and similar social networking sites.
For more borderline cases, an Internet defamation removal attorney can often gather significant amounts of evidence showing that the post is a violation of site policy or likely to result in harm and harassment. An attorney familiar with the removal process can often submit a request that is far more developed and likely to result in removal the first time – before additional harassment and harm can occur.
Many people wish to hold all parties financially accountable for the harassment and fear they have experienced. Many times, they wonder whom, besides the poster, they can hold liable. Many times, people ask whether they can hold the social media or user-generated content platform liable as well. Unfortunately for those who have experienced attacks and harassment online, U.S. federal law provides safe harbor for the website or web service. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides immunity for the sites. One way to think about it is that you would not generally sure the telephone company for allowing people to plan a plot against you over the phone. A similar concept holds true here.
If private facts and details of your life have been posted online, you can experience an array of harms. Aside from the harassment that you may experience, a loss of professional or community standing is also possible. However, the Internet defamation removal attorneys of Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis, LPA can work to remove this information and to hold the responsible individuals accountable. To schedule a fre and confidential consultation call us at (216) 831-0042 or contact us online today.