The Basics: What is WhoScammedYou.com?
Created as an answer to being scammed by a fraudulent stock market scam, and with intention of providing a transparent, cautionary platform for users to warn, vent, and research scammers and popular scams, WhoScammedYou.com quickly evolved into a safe-haven for malicious posters and online defamation.
Although WhoScammedyou warns users against posting defamatory online content and attacks, it still poses a serious threat to you and your business’s reputation and livelihood, due to its anonymous posters, rampant defamatory cyberattacks, unverified information, and lack of proper safeguards needed to prevent online defamation.
Defamation Law Removal Tip: Before bringing a defamation claim, it’s important to first read up on the different forms defamation may take. For instance, defamation of character is generally classified into two categories: libel and slander. Libel is the written publication of a false statement damaging a person’s reputation, while slander is the spoken publication.
WhoScammedYou’s website is easy to use, “designed to give the consumer the opportunity to tell real life experiences of being scammed,” and generally covers three core topics:
The site even boasts a “top ten scammers” list, where scammers can be ranked by week, month, year, or all-time. The top ten scammers of all-time list includes accusations ranging from pedophilia, to complaints about the ShamWow, all the way to Ponzi scheme warnings.
Customers, business partners, and even family members are just a click away from finding such malicious attacks in Google’s search results. If you or your business has been subjected to defamatory comments, posts, and other cyberbullying on WhoScammedYou.com, your ultimate bottom line and ability to keep your doors open could be jeopardized.
Don’t let erroneous reviews destroy your business’s integrity!
If you’ve been defamed online, or are the victim of revenge porn, the reputation lawyers of Minc Law want to fight for your reputation. At Minc Law, we offer a free, initial, no-obligation consultation to formulate a strategic game-plan and assess the best channels for recourse and removal.
We know who to work with, and how to work with them, in order to secure a permanent and swift takedown of defamatory content. Get started today by calling us at (216) 373-7706, or by scheduling a meeting online.
Defamation Removal Law Fact: Defamation can also be referred to as calumny, vilification, or traducement, and the covers false statements harming the reputation of not only a person, but a business, product, religion, nation, group, or government.
What Makes a User-Generated Content Platform & Website Trustworthy?
WhoScammedYou.com is classified as a user-generated content platform, where users:
- Create work and website content,
- Create the work outside of professional practices and routines, and
- Publish the content on a publicly accessible website.
User-generated content platforms entered the mainstream in the early 2000s, accompanying the rise in web publishing and novel media production methods. You’re probably most familiar with social media and social networking sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Myspace. All fall under the category of user-generated content platforms.
Although user-generated content platforms are viewed by many as democratizing Internet content production, by giving ultimate creative control to the reader and user (not publishers, editors, or news shows), they are fickle mechanisms that need to monitored closely in order to avoid illegal usage and online defamation.
Ohio Defamation Law Fact: Defamation per se is the legal principle that some false statements are so inherently defamatory, that the plaintiff need not prove they were actually harmed by the statement. Most U.S. states limit defamation per se to three-to-four types of statements, while Ohio’s definition of defamation per se includes any statement that “reflects upon the character of [the plaintiff] by bringing him into ridicule, hatred, or contempt, or affects him injuriously in his trade or profession.” Additionally, Ohio defamation per se cannot be conveyed by implication or innuendo, and must be direct.
At bare minimum, trustworthy and constructive user-generated content platforms and websites should include the following protections and regulations:
3 Key Characteristics of a Trustworthy User-Generated Content Platform
- Clearly-defined safeguards and content regulation: User-generated content platforms and websites are well aware of their near-blanket immunity under a favorable piece of Internet legislation titled the Communications Decency Act of 1996, and because of such, take a very hands-off approach to all content. However, for most toxic content platforms, they take “hands-off” to the extreme, and neglect any proper information vetting or moderation. There are plenty of popular content platforms out there which clearly define user and content expectations, and lay a rigorous framework of what is, and isn’t allowed. Sites like Reddit, Quora, and Facebook, all dive into great detail regarding their posting and policing policies by outlining content that will result in a ban, and the proper channels of recourse for injured parties.
- Minimal bias: It’s undeniable that bias will always exist in one way or another. And, although bias isn’t entirely preventable, it can be curbed and labelled as such. User-generated content websites are at high risk of malicious attacks due to individual biases and grievances, so there needs to be proper procedures in place for weeding out immaterial and unconstructive content. Sites like WhoScammedYou.com allow for users to post various biases and malicious attacks, all without substantiating evidence. A safe and constructive platform accounts for bias, and requires users submit corroborating evidence and supplementary content.
- Credible and identifiable users: Anonymity and inadequate registration procedures are at the heart of online defamation’s rise. Sites like Reddit and Quora operate on a voting system, suppressing comments and accounts from spambots and malicious users. Additionally, Reddit and Quora both require a some degree of user-verification, requiring a user’s name, or even an email address, allowing for heightened accountability and ultimately, increasing site trustworthiness and user confidence.
You can probably guess where WhoScammedYou.com ranks in the realm of trustworthy and constructive user-generated content websites and platforms.
WhoScammedYou fails to provide a proper framework of moderation for all three mentioned categories due to their:
- Allowance of anonymous users and minimal registration,
- Lack of content moderation procedures, and
- Non-existent removal policy.
If you are looking to minimize the damage caused by malicious online posts on WhoScammedYou.com, look no further than defamation removal attorney Aaron Minc, and his team of highly-experienced defamation removal lawyers.
Aaron Minc is rated by SuperLawyers.com as one of Cleveland, Ohio’s top business litigation attorneys, and boasts a defamation removal rate of nearly 100%. Aaron has litigated hundreds of defamation and libel cases throughout the U.S. and abroad, obtaining favorable verdicts and permanent injunctions against users and websites.
Online Libel Removal Tip: Online libel and defamation is like a wildfire. The longer you let it sit, the more deadly it becomes. If you are the victim of cyberbullying, time is of the essence. Screenshot all search engine results, comments, posts, and reviews, in order to strengthen your libel claim. Just remember, even a small pebble can cause a ripple effect.
Who Can I Hold Liable For False Content & Reviews Posted on WhoScammedYou.com?
Unfortunately, due to WhoScammedYou’s protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), barring a few exceptions, you can’t hold them liable for any malicious online content and defamation. Section 230 of the CDA has generated considerable controversy since its inception due to the extensive immunity granted to user-generated content platforms and ISPs under it.
Section 230 reads:
“No provider of user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
When analyzing whether websites should receive near-blanket immunity under the CDA, courts generally apply a three-prong test, requiring all three prongs be satisfied:
- The defendant must be a “provider or user” of an interactive computer service,
- The plaintiff treat the defendant as the “publisher or speaker” of the harmful and offensive content at issue, and
- The information was provided by a third-party content provider, and was not provided by the defendant.
So, who can you hold liable for online libel and defamation? The user.
Although it may seem overwhelming and stressful to try and identify an anonymous poster, it’s been done many times. It is highly recommended when attempting to identify an anonymous online poster that you reach out to an experienced online defamation and reputation repair lawyer. Doing so will increase your chances of an effective and permanent takedown.
The Subpoena Process
Generally, in order to identify an anonymous poster, you and your lawyer need to issue a subpoena to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) asking them to identify the anonymous poster(s).
A subpoena to the website hosting the malicious and libelous content should include a demand for specific poster identifying information, including: basic contact information and IP addresses. Although the initial subpoena may not yield as comprehensive and thorough information as you may like, IP addresses still carry a lot of value and can be used to determine other relevant and important information about the poster.
IP addresses can be plugged into an IP lookup website, where defamed parties can then find other ISPs where the IP address was used, and ultimately, issue subsequent subpoenas to those ISPs. The subpoena of such ISP will likely result in the production of identifying information about the poster, which can then be used to track them down and hold them accountable.
Reputation Management Tip: If you are a local or small-time business, there are several free and effective methods you can use to bury and minimize a negative digital footprint, including: creating and establishing a dominating social media presence, responding to negative comments on respective forums and review sites, blogging frequently, and setting up Google Alerts with target keywords to monitor anytime your name or brand is mentioned.
The Reputation Repair Lawyers of Minc Law Will Fight to Remove Defamatory Online Content
If you or your business is a victim of malicious attacks and online defamation on WhoScammedYou.com, and you want it removed immediately, call or email Ohio defamation attorney Aaron Minc at (216) 373-7706, or by reaching out online.
At Minc Law, Aaron and his team of highly experienced defamation removal lawyers leave no stone unturned, using all available resources and tactics to remove malicious information from the Internet, including:
- Identifying and confronting malicious posters.
- Sending cease and desist letters and filing DMCA (copyright) takedowns,
- Reaching out to and working with Google and other search engines, and
- Negotiating and working with website administrators, content managers, and third-party arbitration services to secure a fast, easy, and permanent removal.
And, if necessary, we will seek a court-ordered removal.
What can you expect when working with Aaron and his team?
- Websites Respond to Aaron Minc and his team: At Minc Law, we know who to contact and how to contact them. Over the years, we’ve fine tuned our craft and boast a nearly 100% removal rate. Additionally, we know time is of the essence, so we work swiftly and aggressively, to get the results you need.
- We treat all clients with courtesy and respect: Sometimes it can feel like lawyers aren’t always on your side, so know that your goals are our goals. We offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your options, and we will always be on your side.
- We Work With You: Online defamation and character assassination can be stressful and overwhelming, therefore we know the importance of communication. At Minc, LLC, we will stay in constant contact with you concerning the details of your case, communicating via whichever medium is most convenient, including phone, text, email, or whatever is most convenient for you.
Call the Defamation Removal Attorneys of Minc Law today! We will fight to protect your reputation and remove unsavory posts from WhoScammedYou.com.