For months you’ve worked on landing a large and lucrative contract for your small business. Though it has taken more time and hard work than you ever expected, it seems as if your efforts are finally about to pay-off and your business is set to thrive. But then, after weeks of daily correspondence, the calls inexplicably stop. You try to reach your potential client, but you’re constantly brushed off by the receptionist or routed to a lower level person who can’t provide the answers you’re seeking.
Then, weeks later, you start to hear rumors about a posting online about you. So you google your name or the name of your business and a post at a user-generated reporting site, like ReportDeadbeats.com, appears. You click on the link and are shocked and horrified to see accusations ranging from theft to child abuse in a post. You try and think about who could do such a thing. Maybe it was an ex-romantic partner or customer who was dissatisfied with the service he received at your business. Or perhaps a competitor simply wanted to hurt your bottom-line and steal your clients.
Regardless of the reasons behind Internet defamation, false and baseless accusations and statements can cause significant damage to one’s professional, social, and family life. The Internet defamation removal lawyers of Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis, LPA fight to make it stop. We guarantee the removal of defamatory content or you will receive your money back. To schedule a no-obligation consultation call (216) 831-0042 or contact us online.
ReportDeadBeats.com is a user-generated content website that encourages visitors to “REPORT A DEADBEAT DAD, MOM, TENANT, LANDLORD, FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND.” While the definition of deadbeat is somewhat imprecise, by asking users to identify others as “deadbeats” the site requires people to essentially accuse others of failing to pay their debts or satisfy their obligations. Many posts accuse others of failing to satisfy child support obligations. While this type of accusation can be damaging to any person, professionals who rely on their reputation and the value of their word are especially affected by defamatory attacks.
Unfortunately ReportDeadBeats simply does not review or verify the information that is posted. There is no review process and the user-generated content is instantly published to the web site for any interested party to view. While many of these sites request that users only submit accurate reports, without any formal review process there is a high likelihood for abuse. The site TOS does indeed reference a “Submission Policy,” but it is not readily apparent where this policy exists, if at all. Furthermore, many people realize that the verification and authentication measures some user-generated content sites take are slight. They realize or believe that the platform provides an anonymous or pseudo-anonymous soapbox that amplifies their accusations without appearing to subject them to greater risk of facing serious consequences for their speech. While ReportDeadBeats may retain IP addresses, the site does not have a user registration process. Users merely submit reports through a simple web form.
It is true that user generated content sites receive broad protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, but people who abuse these sites do not receive any similar protections. If legal action is taken and enough information regarding the identity of the poster is available, he or she can be held financially liable for the damages that he or she have inflicted. Aside from potentially holding the individual poster liable, ReportaDeadBeat.com’s removal policy is more responsive to concerns of abuse and defamation than many other companies in the industry. The policy reads:
We remove or modify content if ordered to do so by a court order or by a neutral third party arbitration service accessible via links from our Site. We reserve the right, but have no obligation, to remove or edit any content, including without limitation obscenities, foul language, threats and private information such as telephone numbers, addresses, social security numbers and credit/debit card numbers or any material we consider inappropriate for any reason.
Thus the site will voluntarily remove defamatory posts with a valid court order or when certain personally identifiable information is posted. Furthermore, it appears that the site may be responsive to these concerns and willing to work directly with an impacted party.
Online defamation can have profoundly negative effects on one’s life. False accusations and baseless negative reviews that appear on user-generated content sites can jeopardize everything. Consider the potential effects of a post or review that alleges your company engaged in dishonesty, non-payment of bills and obligations, or criminal wrong-doing:
In short, false and baseless accusations can have incredibly negative effects when they are widely disseminated across the Internet. However, the abuse doesn’t have to continue indefinitely.
The Internet defamation removal lawyers of Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis, LPA understand the high price online defamation can have for all people including professionals like doctors, lawyers, and businesspeople. Therefore we are committed to removing false and defamatory posts appearing on sites like ReportDeadBeats.com whether they falsely accuse a company of not paying its debts or a person of not paying child support. We guarantee the removal of defamatory postings from the offending website or your money back. To schedule a no-obligation, confidential initial consultation call (216) 831-0042 or contact us online