Internet Slander and Defamatory Claims Can Destroy a Reputation
Defined, online slander or defamation is commonly known as any unfounded or unproven statement made public that causes or is perceived to cause tangible harm to one’s reputation. The statement can take the form of a blog, an online review, a social media post or any other media-related outlets that have the potential to gain online traction rapidly.
When negative headlines or opinions appear in Google search results and go viral, it can quickly destroy what may have been a positive reputation.
Removing such an online post or article is not always easy; especially when plan to file a slander lawsuit. Many third-party sites also maintain different and often convoluted terms-of-service.
Since even basic communication and social interactions happen over the internet, it has created some legal issues, when it comes to internet slander. In the defamation context, this includes figuring out who has harmed us and who has read the statements.
Social Networking Sites
Obviously, if the statement is made on a public social network such as Facebook or Twitter, it is easier to determine the identity of the speaker, unless it’s a pseudonymous profile. You definitely won’t be able to know the reach of the damaging statements about you. The reach will depend on the person’s privacy settings for their account, but it is fairly simple to prove who the source of the statement is.
Blogs and Public Media Sites
Building your defamation claim gets trickier when it comes to web pages such as blogs or public media sites, including online newspapers or magazines. Bloggers may choose to keep their identities anonymous in order to protect themselves, making it hard to identify who published a defamatory statement on a blog.
This becomes even trickier when it comes to comments that readers leave on blogs or on online news articles. Most websites do not require people to use their real names or share personal details. Even if they do, people could provide false information hence why this is so difficult to track.
If you believe you have been defamed on a website such as a blog, the first step you can take is contact the blogger and ask him to remove any defamatory statements. Website administrators, including bloggers maintain control over the content on their websites and can help stop harmful comments from spreading around.
A Problem That Needs Addressing
A defamatory statement on a blog or social networks may be read by a large audience, and then shared on the internet increasing the scope of the damage exponentially. When the damage done to the defamed is significant, quantifiable, and documented, a lawsuit for defamation may arise.
Nonetheless, there are also solutions that can alleviate a conflict without going through a tedious lawsuit process. Often, in order to remove online slander quickly and effectively, it is best to have it addressed by an experienced professional.