Sean+Hakes

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How to deal with Cyber Defamation

By on March 24, 2017

Having someone attack your reputation unprovoked can be very frustrating as well as cost you a lot of money. Here are some tips on what you can do to fight back against cyber defamation.

What is Cyber Defamation? Cyber defamation is not a specific criminal offense, misdemeanor or tort, but rather defamation or slander conducted via digital media, usually through the Internet [ref].

If you’ve spent any amount of time online then you’ve seen it happen, it’s happened to you, or you’ve participated in it.

In 2008 I was running a digital marketing agency in Denver. I had a contractor that wasn’t getting his work completed. In addition to that, he was defiant and distracting to the rest of the team. Like any other business owner, I canceled his contract. It’s understandable for individuals to get angry that they’ve lost their source if income, but some take get revenge by hiding under fake aliases and posting horrendous, false and defamatory content. The worst part, many of these sites like RipOffReport.com are permanent, and do not screen rants allowing anyone to post anything about anyone.

Not long after I was appointed as an SEO Expert Witness in federal court and hired to represent various cyber defamation cases. Many of these cyber defamation cases were triggered by disgruntled ex-employees, contractors and/or customers. If you’re able to prove that the unprovoked attack is in fact defamatory, you will likely be able to recoup your financial loss.

Here are 3 great options to fight back against cyber defamation: 

  1. Litigate. If you know who the offending party is, and you’re able to prove their statements are defamatory it would be advised to speak with a lawyer. Even if your online stalker is hiding behind a fake alias you can still figure out who they are through SEO forensics, or private investigations.
  2. Reputation Management. If the information being posted about you is borderline truth, the next best thing is to burry the negative content. The idea is you convenience Google that positive content should be ranked favorably over the negative content through various off-site search engine optimization techniques.
  3. SEO Ghosting. This is a term that I made up. Essentially what SEO Ghosting is, is an attempt to replicate a poorly executed SEO campaign targeted at the offending website/page resulting in page/site demotion or penalties. I’ve been working on this process for quite some time and it works great.

If you believe you’re the victim of a cyber defamation attack, I encourage you to reach out to me. The important thing to know is you’ve got options. Don’t stand by, do something.

 


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