Reputation Management for Local Businesses | Dandy

What is Online Defamation and How Can I Stop It?

Defamation can ruin your reputation and cause serious financial loss to your business. In light of the recent defamation lawsuit between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, you may be wondering just how badly false allegations in negative reviews about your business have to get before you can do something about it. 

Continue reading to learn more about online defamation and how you can remedy the situation if you find yourself in it.

What Is Online Defamation?

Defamation of character is the act of damaging someone’s reputation by making false statements with harmful intent to the person or business.

Two types of defamation exist – slander and libel. Slander refers to verbal, spoken statements, while libel refers to written statements. Because we are talking about online defamation, we will focus on libel.

Libelous statements posted online via social media reviews, news outlets, or business websites can be seriously damaging to a person or a business, especially if they are not true. However, defamation goes beyond the scope of a ruined reputation. Online defamation can also cause serious financial losses, health problems, and emotional distress.

Handling Defamation Offenses Against You

If you run a business, you might notice that you have some bad reviews. Depending on the type of business you run, you might notice them on your business website, Google, Yelp, or even Tripadvisor.

The First Amendment Act and the Anti-SLAPP statute protect reviewers from retaliation for a bad review. This also means that businesses can’t just remove a review because it makes them sound bad. False allegations, however, can be removed when for certain violations via bad review removal.

Don’t Retaliate but Gather Evidence

The last thing you want to do is engage the accuser on the internet. An angry confrontation between you and that person is seriously counterproductive. 

You do need to collect evidence as soon as you see it before it gets deleted. Thanks to modern technology, getting evidence that will hold up in court is pretty simple.

Consult With a Lawyer and Take Legal Action

Once you consult with a lawyer, they will be able to give you advice and guide you through the entire process. 

You will most likely want to broadcast a public statement to refute the claim. A calm and mature response through the appropriate channel (press release, business/personal website, or a news outlet) can have a huge impact on keeping your reputation intact. 

You can send a ‘cease and desist’ order to the publisher of the defamation—this will force them to end their libelous assault and retract the review or article from news sources or social media. If the accusing party ignores the ‘cease and desist’, you might have to sue for defamation. It may be your only option to handle your specific situation. 

Ready to Get Your Reputation Back? 

You don’t have to struggle with a ruined reputation when you are the victim of online defamation. At Dandy, we can help you handle issues with online defamation. We might even be able to help you to remove bad reviews from the internet before it ruins your business. 

Contact us today to get started right away.

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