By Aaron Minc on October 5, 2016
The Internet provides a powerful voice for its users. Every day individuals can debate hot topics, discuss life experiences, and share warnings to friends and family in regards to alleged scams, swindles, and other dishonest businesses and individuals. However, people’s perceptions of events that occur do not always match reality. Unfortunately, many Internet sites provide individuals with a platform to mischaracterize events, deals, and agreements to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of other Internet users.
ScamFound.com is a site that allows users to report scams. However, misperceptions by users can result in innocent individuals, businesses and professionals being named in error. Being featured on a site like this can cause significant harm to one’s reputation or ability to run a business.
If you or your business have been falsely attacked online, the attorneys of Meyers Roman Freidberg & Lewis LPA can fight to have the false review removed. We often guarantee the removal of defamatory posts or money back. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us at 216-831-0042 or contact us online.
Scamfound.com operates as an online web bulletin board. The board contains specific sections that cover a broad range of individuals businesses and professionals topics and scams. The submit complaints board is most prominently featured at the top of the site.
This board serves as a catch-all forum “to post and research consumer complaints.” Users of the site seem to take this description to the extreme. Current posts in the board include complaints about Internet companies, accusations that individuals are drug dealers, car and car dealer complaints, and handyman scam allegations. The board provides for an array of other sections where people can post regarding:
Clearly, the site covers a broad array of scams. Nearly any individual, professional, or business can be named on this site. While there is only a section for lawyers listed on the main board, it is clear that users of the site also report doctors, accountants, and other licensed professionals.
Many individuals and business owners frequently wish to hold ScamFound.com liable for the content that appears on the website. Businesses think that since the information appears on the site, ScamFound.com should be responsible and liable for the false and defamatory accusations.
Unfortunately, the law does not comport with these individuals expectations. Rather than holding user-generated content sites liable for content that appears on their platform, the Communications Decency Act, Section 230, actually carves out a broad safe harbor for these sites. These sites receive immunity from liability for user-posted content under this section. While, at first glance, this seems unfair, it is useful to think about the site as one would think about the phone company or postal service. Would you sue the phone company or mailman because someone spread lies or false information through these offline means? The protections provided to the site by the law is what permits user-generated content sites like this to exist.
However, while the law protects the site, it does not extend the same protections to the individual user. Therefore, the individual poster who wrote and submitted a false report can still be held liable for online defamation and libel. Of course, there is a great deal of legal and investigative work that goes into identifying and suing the individual poster so action of this type doesn’t always make financial sense.
Scamfound.com does have the sense to recognize that malicious users can post false information on their site to accomplish their own goals. For instance, a rival business owner may post false reviews regarding a competitor’s company. Individuals can remove a defamatory post from ScamFound.com, but only if he or she “can prove that this information is untrue.” Thus, when submitting a removal request to the site, the user must collect evidence and present the evidence in such a way that it is obvious that the report is false. Working with an Internet defamation removal attorney who frequently engages in evidence gathering and presentation can increase the likelihood that the false report will be removed from the site. Furthermore, the attorney, Aaron Minc, can follow-up with the site and provide additional evidence if it is requested.
The Internet defamation removal attorneys of Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis LPA can fight to remove false reports and reviews from ScamFound.com. We guarantee removal or we will return your fee. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation, call us at 216-831-0042 or contact us online.