The Hard Facts: What is Tagthesponsor.com?

Tagthesponsor.com is a popular website dedicated to exposing models and women on Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms who allegedly finance their lifestyle and careers through the use of “sponsors.” According to their “About” page, in the age of the “sponsorette,” where a (presumably) younger attractive-female is monetarily compensated for sexual services, “no one has Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and a 9-to-5 job is an urban legend.” Tagthesponsor prides itself as the go-to platform for outing and uncovering the truth behind the most popular and lavish lifestyle social media accounts.

The site is nothing less than shocking, posting accusations, screenshots, and pictures of women who allegedly accept payment from “CEOs, sheiks, and star-athletes” in exchange for sexual services, fetish indulgences, and other unsavory behavior. Tagthesponsor claims these high-profile Instagram models don’t enter into acts of prostitution out of a means to survive, but as a way to “live the good life,” and “afford the latest designer brands.” The site emphasizes that they don’t take submissions of strippers or pornstars, as “these women will not try to fool you” and are “upfront about what they do, unlike sponsorettes.”

Defamation Law Fact: Tagthesponsor.com receives an estimated 2,000 unique visitors and over 6,500 page views daily.

Although Tagthesponsor views their message as one of moral duty and transparency, it’s unfortunately morphed into a bizarre, twisted, and malicious platform for people to gossip, spread rumors, and publicly attack innocent women. Most allegations lack credible and substantiating evidence and are based on nothing more than misconstrued perceptions of well-off women and their social media posts. Any site that promotes vitriol, acerbic insults, abuse, and the degradation of others, should be steered clear of at all costs.

If you’re a victim of false and defamatory posts and accusations on Tagthesponsor.com and similar sites, the Cleveland-based Internet defamation removal lawyers of Minc, LLC will fight to remove all malicious and false content. At Minc, LLC we have an extremely high removal rate, all for a reasonable fee. To schedule a free confidential defamation removal consultation, call us today at (216) 373-7706, or schedule a meeting online.

Defamation Law Fact: If you are an Ohio resident and victim of defamatory post or content, check out this FAQ by the Ohio State Bar Association for a list of frequently asked questions.

What Exactly Is Defamation?

Defamation is an all encompassing term for all spoken and written statements that:

  • Are false, unprivileged, assertions of fact,
  • Published to a third party,
  • Amount to at least negligence, and in specific cases actual malice, and
  • Cause damage or harm to a person or entity’s reputation.

Slander and libel are both forms of defamation, and are often used incorrectly by the general public. When bringing a defamation claim, it’s important to first acquaint yourself with the proper term for the defamation you are subject to. Keep in mind that the fundamental difference between slander and libel is the form in which it is conveyed and published.

Defamation Law Fact: When a statement is “privileged,” a speaker is justified and excused from liability for making such statement, usually due to the social or political importance of having the statement disseminated.

Libel

Libel is a false written statement damaging a person’s reputation and published to a third party. Some popular examples of libel include:

  • Published statements in newspapers, magazines, or other media outlets,
  • Posts to internet chat rooms, bulletin boards, and social media platforms,
  • Blog posts and comments, and
  • Other public written comments or statements.

Slander

Slander is a false spoken statement harming a person’s reputation that’s published to a third party. Some common examples of slander include:

  • Making a statement accusing someone of being involved in criminal activity,
  • Alleging someone has a loathsome disease, specifically a sexually transmitted one,
  • Spreading rumors of a friend or coworker cheating on their spouse, and
  • Making statements harmful and injurious to a person’s business or profession.

Now that you have a clear understanding of what constitutes defamation, it’s time to take a look at what isn’t considered defamation, and the various defenses to it.

Defamation Law Fact: Defamation law in the U.S. is recognized as more defendant friendly, due to the wide array of defenses available for those accused, while U.K. defamation law is viewed as pro-plaintiff, often leading to cases of libel tourism.

Are There Any Defenses to Defamation?

When hit with a defamation lawsuit, there are several defenses a defendant may rely on in order to avoid liability. Understanding the essential defenses to defamation is important before bringing a defamation suit, and should be considered when determining whether a valid and legitimate claim exists. Below are four primary defenses to defamation you should acquaint yourself with.

The 4 Primary Defenses to Defamation

  • Truth: A core requirement for bringing a defamation claim is that the statement is false and purported as fact. If the statement is true, there is no falsity, and thus no basis for a valid claim. Statements need not be entirely true in order to raise the defense of truth, as long as the statement is “substantially true,” then defendants will receive protection.
  • Opinion: Opinion is contextual, subjective, and protected under the First Amendment, meaning such statements are generally not actionable under defamation law. When determining whether a statement is fact or opinion, look to whether the statement is an assertion of verifiable fact, if it isn’t, then it likely falls under the defense of opinion.
  • Consent: You can’t bring a defamation against for something you consented to. Consent is an absolute defense to defamation claims, provided the plaintiff actually consented to the publication of such information.
  • Privilege: Privilege may be the most confusing of all defenses, but is actually quite straightforward. Simply put, privilege is any instance where a defendant is justified in making a false or defamatory statement. But, why would anyone be allowed to make such statements? Privilege exists to promote matters of social, political, and public importance. Without such, certain matters and topics would not be openly discussed or debated. For example, members of the United States Congress enjoy legislative immunity and may not be prosecuted for anything said on the floor of the Senate or House. Granting such immunity allows members of Congress to speak freely in order to more effectively communicate and draft laws.

Defamation Law Fact: Some less common defenses to defamation include; mistake of fact, fair comment on a matter of public interest, innocent dissemination, and no actual injury.

Why Is Defamation So Common on the Internet and Social Media?

Scrabble letters spelling out "take more photos," alluding to Instagram

A Brief History of Defamation in the United States

Defamation isn’t a new concept or issue. Libel and defamation can be traced all the way back to the early 1700s, when John Peter Zenger, a German-American journalist and printer, was accused of libel after printing newspapers voicing his opposition to a newly appointed colonial governor. Ultimately, Zenger was found not guilty after a New York court opined that a defamatory statement does not constitute libel if it’s true.

United States’ libel and defamation law was later fleshed out in 1964, after the U.S. Supreme Court overruled an Alabama state court decision affirming guilt of the New York Times after they published an advertisement criticizing Alabama officials and their treatment of students during the Civil Rights Movement.

Defamation law is constantly evolving. After the Internet’s inception and rise during the 90s and early 2000s, defamation became an increasingly global concept. The root of publication and rapid spread of information now allowed persons from across the globe to attack or defame persons and companies, all from the comfort of their own home. With the Internet, came chat rooms, bulletin boards, and other platforms where users generated and created the actual content on the website, ultimately leading to review, complaints, and “shaming” websites, such as Tagthesponsor.com.

Defamation Law Fact: If you’re looking for an in depth explanation of the defense of truth and the various considerations to weigh when determining the veracity of a statement, check out our past blog post “Is Truth a Defense to Defamation?

So, why has defamation become so rampant on the Internet and social media sites?

The Internet has evolved in such a way that it’s reach now far exceeds that of where it can be policed and regulated effectively and comprehensively. It is now a safe-haven and fertile ground for users looking to post about nefarious and malicious things. The Internet widened the scope of defamation law, where once, defamation was only a concern for public figures and high-profile entities. And now, defamation and other false statements affect the average person.

Below are some of the most common reasons why Internet defamation has increased over the years and become a virtual Wild West, limiting legal recourse and effective action.

  • Inability to police and punish malicious users due to the depths of the Internet,
  • An increased sense of invincibility felt by users posting anonymously,
  • Significant time and resources needed to locate and track down malicious users,
  • Lack of legal enforcement mechanisms and ability to enforce across jurisdictions, and
  • Most user-generated content websites are unable to verify the veracity of each claim or post, allowing defamatory and false content to be posted with ease.

Sites like Tagthesponsor take the brunt of the above protections for Internet users, resulting in falsified and baseless reports of prostitution, lewd acts, and other pay-for-play insinuations. Speculation is ripe, and often times, the women chronicled on Tagthesponsor have come into financial success through their own hardwork and successes. Tagthesponsor is unfortunately of the opinion that just because a woman is successful or living a life of luxury, that she must have achieved it through prostitution and sexual acts.

Tagthesponsor.com’s platform allowing baseless accusations and speculation is a danger to you and other innocent women’s reputations. Consulting an online defamation removal attorney is an effective way to locate malicious posters and hold them liable. Reach out today, by calling the Ohio law firm of Minc, LLC at (216) 373-7706, or by scheduling a meeting online.

Defamation Law Fact: When bringing a defamation claim, most jurisdictions have a statute of limitations, requiring the injured party bring the claim within a specific period of time. In the case of libelous posts and publications on the Internet, the statute of limitations generally runs from the moment of publication, not when the injured party learns of it.

How Can I Remove Myself From Tagthesponsor.com?

Tagthesponsor.com’s removal information is minimal. Although the site has a section titled “Removal Request,” the only information provided is an email address to contact. There are no outlined terms of use, prohibitions, or transparent means of removal, making it near impossible for an average, injured person to take down defamatory content.

If you think contacting Tagthesponsor in an attempt to hold them legally liable for false and defamatory content on their website is a viable option, think again. Tagthesponsor.com and other user-generated content platforms are protected under Section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act (CDA). However, such protections under the CDA do not extend to individual users and posters of false and defamatory content. Tracking down individual users by yourself can be a stressful and arduous process, and is best left to an experienced lawyer who has proven success in removing offensive posts.

Keep in mind that there is an intellectual property exception to the CDA, meaning, if your pictures are posted on Tagthesponsor.com and similar sites, you may be able to have them removed via DMCA takedown. Aaron Minc and his team at Minc, LLC, based out of Cleveland, Ohio, will work with you to explore all possible takedown methods in order to remove any malicious or defamatory posts. Minc, LLC attorneys are seasoned and experienced in removing online content and getting results. Additionally, in situations where holding individual users liable is appropriate, we will fight to hold them financially accountable for the harm and damage caused to your reputation.

Let us fight for your reputation.

To schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation, call us at (216) 373-7706, or schedule a meeting online.