The Internet has presented an opportunity to democratize the spread of information. The advent and spread of the Internet has lowered the barrier to publication and participation in the marketplace of ideas more significantly than any invention since that of moveable type in the 1400s. While expansion of the ability to spread ideas is certain a net positive, there are always drawbacks that come along with the introduction of any new technology. While new communications technology can spread useful and relevant information, they can also be used to spread an array of information that most people would find undesirable.
The Internet is no exception to this rule. While it can be used to keep in touch with family and friends, to gather the news, and even to watch movies and listen to music it can also be used maliciously to spread lies, falsehoods, and distortions about an individual or a group. Unfortunately, as the power to spread information increases, so does the ability to spread defamatory materials meant to humiliate, embarrass, or shame. The Internet Defamation lawyers of Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis, LPA by calling (216) 831-0042 today. We offer a free consultation and guarantee that we will be able to get the post removed or we will return your money.
User-generated content sites have been developed to fill a broad array of niches and interests. Facebook is likely the premiere general purpose social networking website used by family and friends. Other important social networking platforms where the majority, if not all content is provided by users, includes Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn and many other sites. Furthermore, there are certain sites dedicated to consumer complaints, like ripoffreport.com and pissedoffconsumer.com. Similarly there are user-generated platforms that purport to offer a service to help others avoid unfaithful boyfriends and girlfriends. Prominent sites in this niche include myex.com, cheater registry.com, datingpsychos.com, and an array of other sites.
Many sites will work with concerned users who believe that they are the target of defamation or other wrongful conduct. Some potential strategies to remove a post from the source include:
While there are options to remove defamatory Internet postings, it is essential to note that the sites that post the user-generated content are provided with broad immunity against liability through Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. While the law provides protection to the sites, individual users do not receive the same protections. In some instances it may be possible to have a site release the identity of the party who posted the defamatory materials. A victim of defamation can then pursue the original poster and litigate to hold the individual financially accountable for the damages that resulted.
In some instances the site may choose not to work with a party who is the victim of online defamation. While the justifications for this approach are numerous, many sites claim that it beyond their ability to referee or judge these matters. In some cases it may be possible to request Goggle to remove the search results provided that you have a valid justification for the removal. Google states that it will voluntarily comply with court orders that direct a third party to remove defamatory materials. Furthermore, in some instances and despite removal at the site level, the search result may continue to exist including a cached version of the page. When the site owner has removed a particular post, Google will also typically do so.
However, it is important to note that removal from Google or another search engine’s results is limited to exactly what it sounds like. That is, while the result is removed, it may persist on the third-party server where it is hosted. However, the removal of the page from the search index means that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to locate the defamatory information without a direct URL. Since search engines account for a significant majority of web traffic, removing its listing can significantly impact the visibility of the page and its likelihood to cause further damage to your reputation and standing.
If you are the victim of online defamation on a social media platform or on other sites, the experienced Internet defamation removal attorneys of Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis, LPA may be able to work to remove those postings or photos on your behalf. To schedule a free and confidential initial consultation call (216) 831-0042 today.