If you’ve found negative content posted about you online, chances are that you’re wondering if there’s a way to get the content removed. Fortunately, you have options. At Minc Law, we offer “guaranteed removal” for content posted to certain websites. In many cases, clients are able to save money with a guaranteed removal compared to traditional litigation.
Like most legal services, there are a variety of factors that go into the cost of a guaranteed removal, such as:
- the number of negative posts that need to be removed,
- the policies of the websites where the posts are located, and
- whether the help of an attorney is needed.
Read on to learn about guaranteed removals, whether you qualify, how costs are determined, and ways to save on costs. Then, we’ll wrap things up with a breakdown of our pricing for guaranteed removals.
Let’s start by defining exactly what a guaranteed removal is and the types of removals that we guarantee.
What Is Guaranteed Removal?
To put it simply, guaranteed removal is a form of content removal that is guaranteed – or you’ll receive a refund for the content not removed. We offer guaranteed removals for websites that we remove content from on a regular basis and it can be removed without the need for a defamation lawsuit or heavy attorney involvement. If you qualify for a guaranteed removal and we’re unable to remove the content, we’ll refund your money for any content not removed.
Since we’ve worked with certain websites in the past, we understand what their removal process looks like. After working with a site a few times, we’re usually able to simplify the removal process. We’re also able to identify red flags in advance that may reduce your chances of getting the content removed.
Reputation Repair Tip: It’s important to remove all negative online content as quickly as possible. If damaging content isn’t removed promptly, there’s a high likelihood of it being copied, syndicated, and disseminated throughout the internet.
What Kinds of Removals Are Guaranteed?
The types of removals we guarantee at Minc Law are typically posts made to shaming sites or cheater sites. Sites like TheDirty.com, Shesahomewrecker.com, and Cheaterland.com fall within this category.
Shaming websites have emerged as a huge source of online “venting.” Usually, an angry poster uses the shaming site as a way to expose a person they feel wronged them. Often these decisions are made in the heat of a moment without much thought – but can create lasting reputational damage for the victim.
In an article in Psychology Today, “The Impact of Public Shaming in a Digital World,” author Sue Scheff touches on this modern form of public shaming. Scheff reminds us that, “Just a generation ago, an embarrassing gaffe might have been written up in the local paper or gossiped about over backyard fences until it was old news. But today is much different. The Internet has eternal life and boundless reach and victims of a digital disaster must learn to live forever with the implications of that high-tech ‘tattoo’.”
What’s really unfortunate about these shaming sites is that they tend to rank high in Google search results (by design). A single post to one of the sites listed above can easily show up as the first or second search result if someone searches your name.
This is where the team at Minc Law can help. Once we step in, we’ll work to get the negative content removed so that you can move on with your life.
What Factors Determine the Cost of a Guaranteed Removal?
In our article, How Much Does a Defamation Lawyer Cost, we explain that there are no one-size-fits-all answers for determining a case’s total costs. Guaranteed removals are no exception to this rule. There are, however, some common factors that contribute to increased removal costs: the number of negative posts, where the content is posted, and whether an attorney is needed.
Let’s break down each of those factors a little further.
Number of Negative Posts
This is one of the more obvious cost-affecting factors. As you can imagine, the number of negative posts you need removed will impact the overall cost. Unfortunately, finding negative posts on various platforms is not rare. In many cases, scraper sites copy negative content and websites with common ownership will share the same post on multiple sites.
In fact, post scraping occurs enough that we offer bulk removal discounts if there is a need to remove posts from multiple sites. We’ve designed these discounts to help reduce the expense to clients when numerous posts need to be removed at once. Also, we emphasize the importance of removing all negative posts, not just the post showing up at the top of search results. If you leave negative posts live, there is a good chance they will be scraped (and duplicated) or move up in your search results.
Branding and Reputation Tip: There are several techniques you can use to boost your brand’s reputation while suppressing negative content. Google and other search engines recognize quality content, so it’s important to overhaul your social media accounts, make them public, start a blog and update it frequently, comment on news articles and posts, and avoid getting into petty online arguments.
Location of the Post(s)
Yes, the websites where the posts are located matter when it comes to cost. Different websites have different rules and policies for removal. Some sites make it easier to remove negative content. Others are ready to litigate and may require a court order before they’ll remove the content.
Naturally, the sites that put up more of a fight cost more to secure a removal. At the same time, even websites with favorable policies may fight more over the removal of popular posts with 50 or more comments. So, not only does the location of the posts matter but the popularity of the content as well.
In rare cases where an individual has had prior contact with the site(s) in an attempt to get the post removed, costs might be increased. Sometimes, when people threaten websites in the heat of the moment, the website owners “dig in,” and prepare for litigation. This makes things more complicated and subsequently more expensive.
This is one of many reasons we suggest clients leave the negotiation up to us. While it may seem cheaper to try to contact a website without the assistance of a professional, this can actually be a major contributor to increased expenses in the long run.
Defamation Removal Tip: If you have been defamed or attacked online, it’s important to approach removal with a strategic game plan. Weigh the pros and cons of responding to the comment or review and recognize that there is potential for the matter to be publicized more if you draw more attention to it. Ask yourself if you know who the defendant is you’re dealing with, and make sure to consult an experienced online defamation attorney.
Often, guaranteed removals are handled by paralegals as opposed to attorneys. This is one of the biggest cost-saving factors in content removal. If an attorney’s assistance is needed to get negative online content removed, the cost of removal will certainly increase.
The good news is, you usually will not need to involve an attorney unless the website requires a court order for removal or you want to identify an anonymous poster. Additionally, working with an attorney may actually be more cost efficient in situations where you want to remove a high volume of negative and defamatory online content.
Most guaranteed removals can be completed without a court order. As with most rules, however, there are some exceptions.
A court order may be needed for guaranteed removal in the following situations:
- If you need negative content removed from 10 or more sites or there is an excessive amount of posts
- If someone is still posting negative content about you
- If the website is being difficult or requires a court order (usually because of negative interactions with the victim or popularity of post)
Identifying an Anonymous Poster
If you’re unsure who is posting the negative content about you and want to identify the culprit, you’ll need an attorney. Websites and companies will only turn over identifying information to help identify an anonymous poster if a court requires them to do so.
This means an attorney will have to start litigation – known as a John Doe lawsuit. In these types of cases, your attorney files a case (usually for defamation, invasion of privacy, or intentional infliction of emotional distress). Once a lawsuit is filed, you can ask a judge to issue subpoenas and start discovery. This will require websites to share information relevant to the case (like the poster’s name, email address, IP address, and account information).
Cyberbullying Prevention Tip: If you’re wondering how to curb cyberbullying and online harassment, we recommend: (1) preserving all relevant evidence and communications; (2) protecting all your online and social media accounts; and (3) learning about your state’s respective cyberbullying and harassment laws.
Cease and Desist Letters
Cease and desist letters are another task that should be left to an experienced content removal attorney. These letters let the other party now you mean business and if they don’t comply, that you’ll be following up with more serious legal action.
You’ll benefit most from a cease and desist letter if:
- You know who is posting the negative content;
- Negative content is still actively being posted;
- You want to prevent future negative posts from the same individual;
- You want to prevent scraper sites from duplicating and re-posting the negative content.
While sending a letter sounds simple enough, you want an experienced online defamation attorney to draft the letter to minimize the risk of negative repercussions. There’s a well-known phenomenon in the online defamation world called the “Streisand Effect” where poorly written cease and desists backfire (drawing more unwanted attention). As you can imagine, this is something you’ll want to avoid if you’re interested in getting content removed to preserve your reputation.
How Can I Keep Removal Costs Down?
Like most other services offered at Minc Law, we help our clients keep costs down for guaranteed removals. Most of our guaranteed removals are handled by paralegals (instead of attorneys) to keep costs low and cut removal times down to 1-2 weeks.
We also recommend removing all negative posts at once to prevent other sites from scraping the post. We’ve found that structuring removals this way reduces administrative fees, transaction fees, and paralegals’ time (saving you money!).
There are some rare instances where working with one of our attorneys can actually be more efficient and affordable than working with our paralegals. For instance, if there are a large number of negative posts, having an attorney take on the matter on an hourly basis may be the more cost-effective way to go. In these cases, attorneys can negotiate large volume removals which translate to cost savings for the client.
Another situation where an attorney would be more cost-efficient is when reposting or scraping gets out of hand. Attorneys are better able to negotiate the removal of scraped posts and have more options available to them to prevent future reposting.
What Does Minc Law Charge For Guaranteed Removals?
Now that we’ve discussed all the factors that can impact the cost of a guaranteed removal, we’ll break down exactly what we charge at Minc Law.
Our guaranteed removal pricing starts at $1,500. On average, most of our clients end up paying $2,500 for the removal from a single website.
However, if you have multiple posts that you need removed, we may be able to batch the removals and give discounts to keep costs down. When we batch multiple removals, we’re able to cut down on administrative time and reduce transaction fees – to keep things more cost-effective for you.
If you’d like a free evaluation of your content removal needs and a tailored price quote, contact one of the paralegals at Minc Law. We’ll look at what you have, conduct a search for negative posts, and give you a custom quote. And if your case calls for the assistance of an attorney, we can refer you to one of our content removal attorneys to ensure you get the service that’s right for you.