“Remove My Name and Information from DeadbeatDirectory.com, Now!”
In this comprehensive blog post we’re going to address how to remove your name, information, and photograph from DeadbeatDirectory.com, why DeadbeatDirectory and other user-generated content platforms may pose a serious threat to your reputation, several ways to protect and monitor your online reputation, and whether you can hold such sites liable for online defamation and libel.
First, let’s tackle what exactly DeadbeatDirectory.com is and it’s history in the user-generated (UGC) content realm.
The Basics: What is DeadbeatDirectory.com?
DeadbeatDirectory.com is a user-generated content platform and website for malicious users post about and “expose” “deadbeat” parents who have failed to pay child support payments. Although DeadbeatDirectory was likely started with noble and transparent intentions, striving to hold persons accountable for not taking care of their children, it has unfortunately evolved into a toxic hotspot for unfounded, libelous, and false accusations and attacks.
Due to DeadbeatDirectory’s evolution into one of the hottest spots to “dish on” and “out” deadbeat parents, it poses a serious threat to your personal and professional reputation. Instead of cold hard facts and tangible evidence, most users on DeadbeatDirectory conjure up false reports and allegations in order to further their own malicious agendas. To make things worse, posters earn points every time they post, with a corresponding star-rating to incentivize active community involvement and contribution.
Does someone truly posting about a “deadbeat” parent really need to be incentivized to do so with star ratings and brownie points?
Don’t let someone’s personal vendetta destroy your personal and professional life! Ultimately, online defamation and libel has the power to spread to all corners of the globe, meaning even your grandmother, elementary school best friend, or future employer could stumble across it. Moreover, persons who don’t even know you may get caught up in the chain of online distribution and social pressure, and end up tweeting, re-posting, or spreading the defamatory information further.
Now, let’s take a look at several core reasons why DeadbeatDirectory and other user-generated content platforms (cheater reporting websites, consumer advocacy websites, & revenge porn websites) have become such rampant hotspots for online defamation and false attacks.
Defamation Removal Tip: When confronting online defamation, it’s important to go into the removal process with as much evidence as possible. Therefore, at Minc Law, we highly recommend you document all false and defamatory online postings and photographs. Furthermore, in order to refute any potential claims of evidence tampering, have a trusted friend or family member also document or screenshot the offending material.
If you’ve been the victim of libelous posts or defamatory comments on DeadbeatDirectory.com and want them removed now, reach out to the defamation removal lawyers of Minc Law today!
At Minc Law, nationally recognized defamation lawyer Aaron Minc and his team of defamation removal lawyers have secured hundreds of removals – and all for a flat, reasonable fee. At Minc Law, we know who to work with and how to hold the necessary parties accountable for their defamatory actions.
We’re here to fight for your online reputation.
5 Reasons Why DeadbeatDirectory Poses a Threat to Your Reputation
DeadbeatDirectory.com boasts a plethora of serious issues and failings which ultimately pose a serious threat to your personal and professional reputation. Websites providing reporting and advocacy services are some of the most heavily trafficked websites and forums on the Internet, therefore they should have proper safeguards and a regulatory framework in place to properly vet inaccurate and accurate information.
The following issues (and potential issues) make DeadbeatDirectory and other similar user-generated content platforms highly susceptible to online abuse, libelous and defamatory postings, and the dissemination of false information.
- Lacklustre Sign-Up & Verification: Encouraging users to “Post a deadbeat now!” DeadbeatDirectory makes it quite easy for malicious and aggrieved users to sign up and start posting. At present, their sign up process merely requires a username – which has no actual relation to one’s personal identity – and their email address. Note that when accessing these websites, malicious posters and trolls often use a throwaway email, defeating the entire purpose of true and accurate identity verification. Look for websites who require users to sign up with their Facebook or Gmail account – these are typically the most trustworthy. Unfortunately, going hand in hand with a lacklustre sign-up and verification process is our next point: minimal content regulation.
- Minimal Content Regulation: If users know the ultimate likelihood of them being identified is extremely low, what’s there to stop them from posting inaccurate, false, and defamatory content? Not much. User-generated content platforms are aware of this, and often disclaim liability for the content created and posted by users. In the subsequent section, we’ll address the near-blanket immunity granted to ISPs and user-generated content platforms under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Note that DeadbeatDirectory.com’s website recognizes such immunity and reads, “The owners/posters/bloggers/moderators of this site cannot and do not ensure the accuracy of any content presented.”
- Strong Social Media Following: DeadbeatDirectory isn’t just a relatively obscure website which no one reads, they are a website with a strong social media following and online user base. Their Facebook page boasts over 3,000 followers, meaning that a defamatory post or photograph has the chance to spread to unimaginable corners of the Internet and globe. Additionally, the “deadbeatdirectory” hashtag has been used quite frequently in order to identify potential deadbeat parents, expanding the overall reach of DeadbeatDirectory to a more global level.
- Potential Copyright Infringement: DeadbeatDirectory implores users to post photographs of potential deadbeat parents. However, what most users don’t realize when posting such photographs of innocent (and even guilty) parties – they don’t actually own the copyright to the picture they are posting. Typically, the copyright to a photograph is held by the person who takes the photograph. And, unless the innocent party in the picture expressly waived their rights to whichever picture is posted, or consented to it’s posting, then it’s highly probable the party posting the photograph is infringing upon someone’s intellectual property rights and copyright.
- Revenge Porn Posting Possibility: Coupled with the posting of photographs often comes the potential for an even more sinister type of online abuse – revenge porn. With such minimail verification and regulation of content, it’s not unheard of for user-generated content platforms to become hotbeds for revenge porn and unconsented intimate pictures. You can read up further on the dangers of revenge porn and the differing laws by state by checking out our interactive revenge porn map.
Defamation Law Fact: Some of the most common defenses to defamation include: (1) opinion, (2) truth, (3) privilege (absolute & qualified), (4) fair comment, (5) no true publication to a third-party, and (6) consent – after all, you can’t consent to a defamatory statement and then get angry it was made or published.
Now, let’s take a look at where you can bring a libel or defamation lawsuit against DeadbeatDirectory…
Can I Sue DeadbeatDirectory For Defamation?
What most defamation of character victims often fail to understand is that user-generated content platforms are protected from defamation liability (but for several exceptions) under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).
Simply put, just as newspaper stands and distributors are not held liable for the defamatory contents that may be inscribed and written in a newspaper’s contents, user-generated content platforms may not be held liable for information created and posted by third-parties. Specifically, Section 230 of the CDA reads:
“No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
As long as the UGC platform or ISP does not curate, edit, or materially alter the message posted, they likely will not be an actionable target for a defamation suit. Do note that there are several other exceptions to the CDA where a user-generated content platform may be required to remove such information. For example, users may remove defamatory or malicious information in cases of:
- Intellectual property infringement: Claims for copyright infringement and other intellectual property infringement are not covered under the CDA, and websites with infringed content are typically required to remove the offending piece(s) as soon as possible.
- Criminal law violations: Content which violates criminal law is not protected under the CDA. Common criminal law violations include revenge porn and pictures exploiting children.
- Highly edited & curated content: As we mentioned above, as newspaper stands don’t actually create the content they distribute, they cannot be held liable for its contents. However, one an entity or person becomes more than a mere “facilitator” of information, and has a direct hand it creating and curating it, they will forfeit their immunity under Section 230.
- Solicitation & encouragement of illegal content: A good portion of user-generated content have a controversial call to action, where they prompt users to “do x, y, and z.” Most of the time such CTAs do not cross the threshold into illegality, but beware of websites which actively solicit and encourage users to post illegal content.
- Promissory estoppel: Websites and ISPs may lose immunity under the CDA if they communicate a statement(s) to another party that they are waving their protection under Section 230. And, if the party who the statement is communicated to relies on such statement to their detriment (promissory estoppel), an ISP or website will be “estopped” from asserting their rights under the CDA.
Libel Removal Tip: Group libel, also known as group defamation, is recognized in the United States as a libelous or defamatory statement about not merely an individual, but a general class of persons, such as a racial or ethnic group.
Online defamation law is an area of law with many nuances and is time sensitive, therefore it’s strongly recommended you reach out to an experienced defamation removal attorney before attempting to remove defamatory online material.
The defamation removal lawyers of Minc Law know the ins and outs of United States defamation law, and have litigated in nearly half of all 50 states. Reach out today to schedule your free, initial no-obligation consultation by filling out our contact form online.
3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Online Reputation
Proactivity is extremely important in the world of online defamation. Luckily, there are countless tools you can use to protect and alert yourself of defamatory and malicious statements made about you on the Internet.
Below are three common methods to stay proactive (rather than reactive) when confronting online libel and defamation:
- Get a blog up and running: Google and other search engines operate on algorithms which reward positive and constructive content. Creating a blog or website is an effective way to push your own narrative. Tying your name to a blog or website rich with helpful and positive content is a great way to prevent negative and defamatory search results from ever appearing on the first page of Google.
- Set up a Google Alerts account: Google alerts is the equivalent of having a watchdog at your house. When setting up an account, you can input your name along with a string of words you’d like to be alerted to – doing so will allow you to identify and locate online defamation immediately. An unfortunate reality for most defamation victims is that they are often unaware that such false attacks and allegations are even out there, and only have such brought to their attention after a family friend or loved one discovers it.
- Optimize social media accounts & interlink: In order to combat online defamation, you effectively should be striving to create the richest and most comprehensive online profile you can. Making your social media accounts public and openly commenting on popular blogs, news sites, and other rich websites, will create a robust online profile – one which likely won’t be significantly affected by a one-off malicious or defamatory post. Think of your online presence as a spider-web, where instead of having just one tiny corner of a spider-web woven to catch insects, you have one of the biggest and most comprehensive webs out there. You can “increase” your web’s size and reach by making sure to interlink between social media accounts, your blog, and other online profiles.
Online Brand & Reputation Tip: Not only will establishing an online brand & monitoring budget be crucial for guarding against online defamation and libel, it’s an effective tool to combat intellectual property infringers & other malicious online actors.
Work With the Defamation Removal Attorneys of Minc Law Today!
If you’ve found defamatory or false content on DeadbeatDirectory.com and want it removed immediately, reach out to the reputation and defamation lawyers of Minc Law today! At Minc Law, we leave no stone unturned, and have secured hundreds of online defamation removals, and all for a flat, reasonable fee.
Ohio defamation attorney Aaron Minc and his team of reputation and defamation attorneys know who to work with and how to work with them in order to secure swift and permanent removals. Just remember, online defamation is like a wildfire, the longer you let it sit and spread, the more damage it’s going to do. Take solace knowing that we use all available tactics to remove online defamation and libel, and have worked tirelessly with website administrators, content managers, and third-party arbitration firms.
And, if necessary, we will seek a court-ordered removal.
Defamation Law Fact: Before bringing an online defamation claim, it’s important to understand that most states have differing libel and slander laws. As such, their statutes of limitations may significantly differ (slander claims are typically required to be brought before libel). Reach out to an experienced defamation attorney in order to learn about your state’s respective statute of limitations.
Here’s what you can expect when working with the defamation of character lawyers of Minc Law:
- Websites Respond to Aaron Minc & His Team: At Minc Law, we’ve litigated in over 19 states and three countries, and know how to get to the bottom of the issue to discover a malicious poster’s identity and remove harmful information.
- You Will Be Treated With Respect & Courtesy: We know how overwhelming the online defamation process can seem. After all, it is a fundamental invasion of your privacy. Just know, when working with Aaron and his team, they will treat you with the utmost respect and courtesy.
- We Are Here to Work With You: After commencing with the takedown and removal process, we will stay in constant contact with you concerning your case. We’ll update you via phone, text, email, or whichever medium is the most convenient for you. We’re here to help you stay informed.