Why Damaging Online Content Poses a Serious Threat to Your Reputation
As discussed in our previous post, “Why Hire an Attorney as Your Online Reputation Expert,” one of the core benefits from hiring an experienced Internet attorney, instead of traditional web marketing or reputation management company, is that attorneys know how to remove damaging and defamatory online content from the Internet immediately.
But, why do I need to remove damaging online content immediately?
Online defamation and damaging content is like wildfire, and the longer you let it sit and spread, the more damage it’s going to do to your reputation, personal life, and professional opportunities.
The benefit of having damaging and defamatory material completely removed from search engine results immediately is pretty apparent – the longer something becomes ingrained in an online search algorithm, the higher it will appear in the rankings, and ultimately, this will cause negative and false content posted about you to become highly visible. It’s like asking an eight year old whether “more is better than less.” The answer is, get it removed as quickly as possible.
Proactivity trumps reactivity any day of the week when dealing with online defamation.
Every moment that a piece of libelous or damaging content remains on the Internet, the higher the chances of reputation harm and monetary damage to you or your business. Later in this post, we will explore some of the most popular consequences online defamation can have on your personal and professional reputation. If you’d like to skip to that, check out Section 4.
When confronting online defamation, most people fail to consider the actual urgency in removing it – which opens a rabbit hole of consequences, such as what I like to call the “Monkey See, Monkey Do” and “What-A-Mole” effects. What exactly am I talking about when I mention these two concepts? Allow me to explain further…
Online Libel Fact: Most people confuse the terms “libel” and “slander,” the two fundamental categories defamation may be broken into. Libel refers to a false written statement of fact communicated to a third-party which damages another’s reputation, while slander refers to a false spoken statement communicated to a third-party. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the two, as some states have varying statutes of limitations for bringing libel and slander claims.
If you’ve found defamatory or damaging content online and want to remove it, reach out to the internet removal lawyers of Minc Law today. Our team boast nearly a 100% removal rate.
At Minc Law, our nationally recognized defamation and content removal lawyers have litigated in over 19 states and 3 countries, and have secured hundreds of takedowns and removals. It’s time to put a stop to the libel and abuse today.
To schedule your free, no-obligation initial consultation, call us at (216) 373-7706, or schedule a meeting online by filling out our online contact form.
At Minc Law, we’re here to fight for your reputation.
Removing Online Defamation & Damaging Content is Like Whack-A-Mole
Online defamation is similar to an iceberg, and oftentimes, what you see on the first few pages of Google’s search results are just the tip.
If online damaging content and defamation isn’t removed in a timely manner, there’s a high likelihood of it being:
- Syndicated, &
- Disseminated throughout the Internet.
Defamation isn’t how it used to be, where (pre-Internet) a libelous or slanderous statement would barely make it out of one’s local community or municipality. Now, with the technological advancements of the 21st century, defamation stands to permeate all corners of the globe. That’s right, instead of online defamation reaching just your immediate family and friends, it stands to be viewed by complete strangers and potential employers halfway across the world.
As one defamatory post is written, it stands to pop up again in another, more permanent form, similar to how the moles keep appearing in different corners when playing Whack-A-Mole.
With Internet crawling and news aggregation bots, such processes often happen automatically, and are completely beyond the control of the author and injured victim. Sometimes a malicious poster or defamer only intends the material to be viewed by a certain audience, but fails to appreciate that the Internet has a mind of its own, and once something is woven into its fabric, it can be near impossible to get out – unless you work with an experienced internet defamation removal attorney.
Defamation Law Tip: Curious about some of the most common defenses to online defamation? When confronted with a defamation claim, defendants typically will rely on one of the following defenses: (1) The statement in question was true, (2) The statement in question was a matter of opinion, (3) They were privileged (legally allowed) to make such statement, (4) The plaintiff consented to the publication, (5) Fair comment – the defendant was merely commenting on a matter of public interest. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list.
Let’s take a look an example which shows exactly how online defamation and damaging content is like the game Whack-A-Mole.
For example, when malicious and false content is posted online, images and content become independently searchable, and static portions of web pages duplicate – ultimately, generating thousands of search engine web page results.
Content then becomes part of a search engine’s “cache,” a software component which stores data in a certain manner so it can be retrieved in the future even faster, and becomes viewable in Internet history archives. Additionally, web pages become linked to similar websites and related pages, allowing information to be spread across various Internet mediums and websites.
The most common method of dissemination and linking content on the Internet?
Social media websites, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Another concern is that most people who post truly damaging information on the Internet about others usually don’t stop after posting it on just one website. After all, plenty of user-generated content platforms (think review websites, consumer advocacy websites, and scam reporting websites), have lax verification and regulation standards – allowing users to seamlessly jump from website to website, posting malicious and false information with ease.
Typically, persons post damaging content on multiple websites until they are confident that the harmful information will get the attention they want and have its intended effect. Thus, if the author of the damaging post is not identified or confronted regarding their nefarious online activities, they will likely continue to cause more harm and damage.
In sum, if harmful content is not removed quickly, it stands to replicate itself in Internet search results and websites, ultimately rising to the top.
Now you are familiar with what I call the “Whack-A-Mole” effect, so let’s take a look at the next concept of “Monkey See, Monkey Do.”
If you’ve discovered online defamation and damaging content about you on one or more websites, it’s highly recommended you reach out to an experienced legal professional to stop it at its source and work towards a swift and permanent removal.
Online Defamation Fact: When dealing with online defamation, you may have heard of the “Streisand Effect.” The Streisand Effect is in reference to a 2003 instance where Barbra Streisand tried to suppress photos of her Malibu home, but ultimately ended up drawing national media attention to it – doing the exact opposite of what she intended.
“Monkey See, Monkey Do,” Defamation Copycats
Another issue that frequently occurs after online defamation is posted is what I like to call the “Monkey See, Monkey Do” effect.
Simply put, if a harmful post isn’t removed quickly, the post can likely be viewed by others as an invitation to join in and provide additional information and harmful content. After all, if the original author isn’t likely to suffer legal repercussions or be held accountable, why shouldn’t they join in and push their own malicious agendas as well?
A lot of times, most people don’t feel comfortable being the first to post negative and false information online about another person or company. Once someone else has taken the initiative, that’s when the floodgates open. Or simply, maybe they are reminded again about a particular person or entity they have particular disdain for.
Once the floodgates open, it’s often not long until other “monkeys” start coming out of the woodwork to do the same. Hive mentality exists for a reason, and defamation law is one of the few areas of law that really shines a spotlight on this unfortunate consequence.
Setting up a Google Alerts account is an effective and free way to monitor your online reputation and brand, and receive alerts anytime you or your company’s name is mentioned online – and in conjunction with particular words. As mentioned above, proactivity goes far in the world of online defamation.
Online Defamation Tip: If you’re looking to suppress negative online search results, there are several free and easy steps you can take: (1) Start your own blog and update it frequently – Google and other search engines love positive and constructive content, (2) Make your social media profiles public, (3) Comment openly on popular websites, blogs, review sites, & (4) Link your social media accounts together – doing so creates a robust positive online spiderweb of content.
If you’re unsure of the best way to approach online defamation and damaging online content, we highly recommend you consult an experienced Internet defamation attorney. Not only can the removal process be complicated, it can also be stressful, therefore it’s important to reach out to attorneys who specialize in such matters.
Call the internet defamation attorneys of Minc Law today at (216) 373-7706, or fill out our contact form online.
Common Consequences of Online Defamation & Damaging Content
Let’s take a look at some of the most common consequences and effects online defamation and damaging content may have on your personal and professional reputation.
Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list.
|Personal Reputation||Professional Reputation|
|Depression, anxiety, and other physical effects||Loss of customers and business|
|Mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment||Loss of sponsorships, funding, and advertising|
|Ostracization and ridicule from your community||Loss of potential business partnerships and future financial opportunities|
|Damage or severance of personal relationships (friends, family, loved ones)||Being fired from your job and trouble finding future employment|
|Fear for your safety and paranoia||Having to close your business down for good|
Online defamation is not a joke, and should be treated seriously, that’s why it’s extremely important to stay vigilant and reach out to an experienced internet defamation attorney should you find malicious and false attacks posted online.
Defamation Law Fact: Persons who make defamatory and false statements are commonly referred to as “defamers,” “libelers,” “slanderers,” and the less commonly known “famacide.” Additionally, defamation may also be referred to as “vilification,” “character assassination,” “calumny,” and in some cases “disparagement.”
Work With an Experienced Internet Lawyer to Remove Damaging Online Content
Your online reputation is something that should be taken very seriously, as it stands to have countless real world repercussions and consequences. If online search engines are currently only showing a single piece of harmful content that you want removed from the Internet, it’s important to stop it before it spreads.
Reach out to the Minc Law team today to get started with the removal and takedown process. Here’s what you can expect when working with experienced and nationally recognized internet attorneys of Minc Law.
- Open Communication: At Minc Law, we pride ourselves on our lines of open dialogue and communication. Once we’ve commenced the removal process, we will stay in constant contact with you surrounding your case, and update you on any new details.
- Respect & Courtesy: We understand how stressful and overwhelming online defamation is, and the effects it can have on you, so just know, we’re always on your side. After all, your goals are our goals.
- We Get Results: Website administrators, content managers, and third-party arbitration firms respond to Minc Law. We know who to work with and how to work with them, and have secured hundreds of swift and permanent removals.
If you’d like to discuss your legal options further, call us today to schedule your free, initial no-obligation consultation at (216) 373-7706, or by scheduling a meeting by filling out our online contact form.
The abuse stops today!