The Brass Tacks: What is CheaterCollege.com?

Unlike the Web 1.0 era, where websites were limited to “passive viewing content,” the Web 2.0 revolution brought user-generated content platforms and websites into the mainstream. Now, instead of relying on others to create the content for them, users became involved and had a direct hand in what was being produced and distributed online. While the Web 2.0 lead to positive platforms and communities such as Facebook, blogs, Youtube, other social media sites, it also produced toxic ones, leading to the creation of cheater reporting websites, namely CheaterCollege.com.  

CheaterCollege.com is an online user-generated content platform where “concerned” individuals report on unfaithful boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, and other romantic partners. Although the site hails itself as a platform for “Reporting Cheaters From Every College and University,” it extends much further, and includes persons of all ages and educational backgrounds.

Although break-ups, arguments, and romantic relationships can be a difficult topic to address, no individual should have to find their name libeled and appearing on the first page of Internet search results associated with rumors and other malicious claims. Mixed in with posters who become irrational after rejection or being turned down, jealous rivals, and even online stalkers, CheaterCollege is a perfect storm of defamatory content, unwarranted attacks, and poor grammar.

Defamation Removal Law Tip: Burying online defamatory content and posts in Internet search results is a free and easy way to make sure your name doesn’t show up on the first page of Google. Some effective methods of burying negative content include creating and managing social media profiles, starting your own blog, commenting regularly on forums and articles, and linking between profiles.

If you’ve been targeted by malicious online posters and suffered online abuse through false and defamatory postings on CheaterCollege.com and other user-generated platforms, the Internet Defamation Removal Attorneys of Minc, LLC want to fight for you. At Minc, LLC, we will work with you to remove offending content from cheater sites such as CheaterCollege.com, all for a flat, reasonable fee.

With proven success and a seasoned team of attorneys, let us help restore your reputation. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us at (216) 373-7706, or schedule a meeting online today.

Defamation Removal Tip: Before bringing a defamation claim, understanding the various types of defamation is important. Most people confuse “slander” and “libel,” two forms of defamation. Slander is a false spoken statement damaging a person’s reputation, while libel is written or published in a tangible medium.

Four Key Problems with CheaterCollege’s Reporting Methods and Removal Process

CheaterCollege.com is the definition of extreme, and bare-bones. Their design is minimal, the interface is easy to use, and there is one purpose in mind; to “expose” cheaters and liars. Unlike more popular cheater reporting sites, such as CheaterLand.com and CheatersReport.com, CheaterCollege does not have a proper blog, contact form, or supplementary comment for users.

4 Key Problems with CheaterCollege.com

  • No terms and conditions (TOU): CheaterCollege lacks a terms and conditions or general guideline page, creating a Wild-West platform for malicious and rogue attacks. Although not explicitly required by law, a terms and conditions page is essential for putting users on notice of their rights and any prohibited behavior, and should be a minimum requirement for all websites. If users aren’t told what is, and isn’t allowed, there’s nothing stopping them from crossing the line from constructive feedback and innocent venting, to malicious, defamatory, and illegal rants. Additionally, without a terms of use page, users go unpunished, and are further encouraged to keep posting offensive content.
  • Anonymous registration: Anonymous registration is a main catalyst for inflammatory and malicious online content, as users enjoy a sense of invincibility and protection. Although CheaterCollege requires an email, this is an easy step to circumvent, and most malicious posters use throwaway email addresses, shielding them from real-life backlash and punishment. Anonymous registration does seem like an insurmountable hurdle, but the Defamation Removal Attorneys of Minc, LLC have uncovered countless malicious posters and held them liable for defamatory online posts. Reach out today to discuss your options and formulate a game-plan with Aaron and his team.
  • No removal policy: In conjunction with a non-existent terms and conditions page is CheaterCollege’s lack of a removal policy. For innocent parties affected by online abuse and ostracization, it can appear overwhelming having no tangible and simple method of legal recourse. Even some of the most despicable and toxic user-generated platforms out there include a removal policy and contact page. For the average user, it’s unclear how CheaterCollege responds to requests for removal, leading to a higher likelihood the offending content stays online permanently.
  • Revenge porn: Scrolling through the homepage, it’s obvious CheaterCollege is a proponent and safe-harbor for users posting revenge porn. Their “Report a College or University Cheater” page allows posters to upload pictures, opening the site up to rampant copyright infringement and nonconsensual image sharing abuses. “Just on the homepage alone, there are explicit, and presumably unconsented pictures of naked ex-girlfriends and spouses. Not only is revenge porn incredibly harmful to one’s reputation, it’s illegal. Laws surrounding revenge porn have evolved rapidly over the last few years, and as of 2018, most U.S. states have criminalized the posting of revenge porn. To learn more about revenge porn and see if your state has laws governing it, check out our detailed and interactive revenge porn map and blog post here.

Defamation Law Fact: According to a 2016 study by the Data & Society Research Institute, nearly 10 million Americans are victims of non-consensual revenge porn and image sharing. Additionally, the report found the highest risk demographic is young adults aged 15 to 29, and almost 1 in 10 women have been threatened with having their intimate photos publicly posted online.

CheaterCollege’s bare-bones approach to content, registration, and regulation poses a serious threat to your reputation and livelihood, as malicious users are far more likely to sign up, knowing their identities can remain hidden and defamatory speech will go unvetted. When dealing with online defamation and other malicious content, proactivity is essential.

Aaron Minc is a highly experienced online defamation attorney, who specializes in working with site administrators, content managers, and arbitration services to permanently remove defamatory content. Reach out to Aaron and his team of Northeast Ohio-based attorneys today, by calling (216) 373-7706, or by scheduling an appointment online.

Defamation Law Tip: When dealing with revenge porn and the non-consensual posting of your photos, document everything. Screenshot the offending material, and store it in electronic form, as defendants will sometimes try and dispute its authenticity if you only present a printed version. Also, having an independent third-party document the illegal material is an effective way to prove you didn’t tamper with the evidence.

Who Can I Hold Responsible for Online Defamation?

The reason user-generated content platforms have thrived in the last twenty years is because of their near-blanket immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), a landmark piece of Internet legislation drafted in 1996. The CDA provides broad protections and minimizes liability for websites who host user-generated content, as long as there are no original edits or comments to the pieces.

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.”

When determining whether user-generated platforms enjoy CDA immunity, courts generally rely on a three-part test, and will not hold such platforms liable when:

  • They are a “provider or user” of an “interactive computer service,”
  • Are treated as the “publisher or speaker” of the offensive content at issue, and
  • The content at issue was provided by a third-party.

Although user-generated content platforms are given broad immunity in the hopes of promoting constructive discussion and creative content, it acts as a significant barrier for individuals subject to online defamation and malicious attacks. Unfortunately, the depths of the Internet extend far beyond the scope of morality, creating never before seen issues.

Additionally, Section 230 of the CDA has had an unintended effect of curbing defamation claims by defamed parties, resulting in a permanent embedding of defamatory content into the Internet and its various nooks and crannies.

Defamation Tip: Keep in mind defamation law deals with false statements, and does not cover true statements, no matter how harmful they are. Before bringing a defamation claim, it’s important to familiarize yourself with any possible defenses a defendant may argue. In addition to truth as a defense, consent, opinion, and privilege are all common defenses to defamation.

You Can Hold the Poster Liable

Although CheaterCollege lacks a contact and content removal page, most user-generated content websites voluntarily comply with removal requests and court orders. The CDA protects user-generated content platforms, but not individual users who post defamatory content.

You can hold an individual poster liable for defamation and malicious online attacks.

Working with an experienced online defamation lawyer is an effective way to permanently remove offensive online content and hold the offending user liable. Most users hide behind the cloak of anonymity, but fail to realize content platforms can be subpoenaed to reveal their IP addresses.

Even if an initial subpoena doesn’t produce sufficient information to identify the malicious poster, it’s still a step in the right direction, and can act as a launching point for identifying any relevant IP addresses via an IP lookup site. As mentioned above, time is of the essence when dealing with defamation, as most Internet Service Providers only keep individual and subscriber information for a set period of time.

If a subpoena doesn’t produce information sufficient to identify a poster, there are other options to remove online content.

Explore Alternate Options to Remove Defamation

As a platform for revenge porn and nonconsensual image sharing, CheaterCollege.com and other cheater websites avail themselves to intellectual property infringement, specifically, copyright claims. Section 230 of the CDA covers non-intellectual property claims arising from user-generated content, not intellectual property claims.

As most users posting revenge porn and other non consensual photos don’t have the copyright to it, injured parties may submit a DMCA take-down notice, alleging copyright infringement.  At Minc Law, Aaron and his team will explore all options to remove defamatory content in a timely manner. Reach out today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your rights and formulate a take-down game-plan.

Ohio Revenge Porn Fact: At present, Ohio does not have any revenge porn laws in the books, but does however, have several laws in the Ohio Revised Code governing the transmission and posting of explicit, non-consensual images. Although there isn’t any current legislation specifically governing revenge porn, it’s not without lack of trying, as various bills have been introduced over the years prohibiting it. With rapid adoption over the years, it’s only a matter of time before revenge porn is criminalized in all states.

Work With Experienced Attorneys to Fight and Remove Defamatory Content and Hold Malicious Posters Accountable

If you’ve been defamed or attacked on CheaterCollege.com, or similar cheater-reporting user-generated content websites, it’s crucial to act immediately. Failing to remove defamatory content can have serious consequences on your reputation, resulting in stress, anxiety, and depression. For college and university students, online defamation can have disastrous effects, causing missed classes, poor exam scores, and stigmatization by the general student body.

Reach out to Aaron Minc and his team of experienced defamation lawyers at Minc, LLC to discuss your rights, removal options, and any further action you may take against a malicious poster to hold them liable. To schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation, call us at  (216) 373-7706, or schedule a meeting online today. At Minc, LLC, we want to fight to protect your reputation.