How to Deal with Slander Posted Online
All around the world, internet slander (and its cousins libel and defamation) are on the rise.Individuals are using the internet as a medium to slander companies and people they know and, for one reason or another, are unhappy with.
Where is internet slander posted?
The internet slander epidemic is not limited to any particular segment of online media site; it’s happening everywhere people are free post their un-moderated opinions online. Slander, defamation and libel occurs on social networking sites, news publications, review/rating sites, personal and collaborative blogs and forums. These are only a few of the places people are posting slander and libel online.
Internet Slander Removal
Are there sirens going off around you and your business? We can fix your Internet slander problem right now.
Do you feel like your reputation is under attack? The old adage about the difference between satisfied and dissatisfied customers is more true today than ever before. A satisfied customer rarely tells anyone that they had a good experience while a dissatisfied customer will tell at least 10 people about a bad experience.
In today’s online world you and your business are more exposed than ever to slander, defamation and just bad press. A single anonymous poster online can dramatically affect your business in a negative way.
The question is can anything be done about it? The answer now is YES!
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Our four part process, once launched, not only begins to remove all the negative and unwanted content currently posted but, actually builds a virtual firewall around your business protecting it from future attacks.
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Why Is Internet Slander Allowed and how should it be handled?
Slander and libel law has protected individuals and businesses against libel and defamation for many decades. The widespread use (and abuse) of the internet has made slander and libel far more prevalent than ever before. Knowing your rights and protections on the internet is absolutely necessary to safe browsing and using online services.
In the United States, proper law does not make internet content providers (online services, social networking sites, etc.) responsible for the postings of their individual users. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 states the following:
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider. (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/230)
There are stipulations to this immunity that require service providers to act “in good faith” to ensure that user access to obscene or offensive materials is restricted—whether the materials are constitutionally protected or otherwise. In a nutshell, US law ensures that content service providers are not held responsible for the actions of an individual third party, as they naturally have no control over their users’ actions.
These protections have years of historical precedent behind them. Since 1997, the law has been cited in defense of content providers and their immunity from liability has been upheld almost every time. Many major online brands like eBay and AOL have won cases against their services thanks to the protections of Section 230.
In the 2004 case MCW, Inc. v. badbusinessbureau.com, immunity for defendant badbusinessbureau.com was denied—you can probably guess why just by their domain name. The website allowed users to upload stories of their bad business experiences, which is protected by Section 230, but the website’s editors and content managers wrote editorials and contributed negative contents to their own website as well. The courts ruled that they were, naturally, responsible for their own content, as well as encouraging offensive and slanderous content from their users, and the site was denied immunity.
The complete text of Section 230 can be found above, and there are numerous case summaries for other precedent-setting cases online.