The public platform of the internet is always changing. The potential for content-related hazards grows dramatically as more information is released online. As a result, more people and companies are dealing with serious content removal problems.
Your online reputation is crucial whether you are a person or a corporation. One of the first things individuals do when they meet someone new is Google them. You are probably being Googled whether you are applying to colleges, pursuing a new career, or just looking for love online.
This is all very similar to how consumers – and players in other businesses – frequently Google businesses before engaging with them in the marketplace. Your search results have an impact on your future, and maintaining positive search findings for your name or company is essential for your building and maintaining your good reputation.
The effects can be disastrous if negative internet information appears in your search results. Even if something they read online is erroneous or wrong, people very often believe what they read, and they take no other steps to verify the information.
Negative information on the Internet also has a propensity to spread quickly. It can spread swiftly over the large variety of social media channels that exist today, be scraped and posted on other websites, and even become viral overnight.
It gets harder and takes longer to remove content the more it circulates online. Negative internet content must be taken down as soon as possible to prevent reputational harm. This is often where a reputation lawyer like those on the Pearl Lemon Legal team can be very helpful.
There is, somewhat unfortunately, no standard definition under the law for Internet deformation. There are also different standards applied in different countries, something that can prove tricky as many of the things considered damaging to your reputation are posted on sites that are international, even global in nature.
In very basic terms, some simple examples of Internet deformation we deal with on a daily basis as reputation lawyers includes negative postings on sites like Facebook and Twitter, videos on Youtube, TikTok or Instagram, negative news stories published on one of the many online news sites and even comments and claims made during podcasts and internet based entertainment shows.
Good old-fashioned reputational harm still occurs every day too, via print newspapers – who of course all have corresponding online editions that often reach readers that their print edition never could – and more traditional television and radio coverage.
Working with an experienced reputation lawyer who can advise you on the best removal method for your particular circumstance is vital if you are dealing with concerns relating to internet content reputation.
Our team of lawyers, cyber-investigators, and public relations specialists rapidly and cooperatively develops plans to help clients deal with challenging and harmful content removal situations.
At Pearl Lemon Legal we are fortunate to belong to the larger Pearl Lemon Group, a growing set of companies that includes one of the best performing digital marketing agencies in London, as well as a flourishing public relations company and our reputation lawyers can, and do, draw on their special expertise all the time to achieve the best possible results for our clients facing the many negative effects that damage to their reputation can result in.
Of course, just because something is harmful online does not automatically make it online defamation. However, other legal theories or strategies may be able to be used to get offensive internet information removed.
Our content removal attorneys at Pearl Lemon Legal have expertise dealing with a wide range of traditional and internet-related concerns and have been able to remove challenging and harmful content from the internet on behalf of our clients. Our lawyers frequently work to have content removed from news websites, blogs, forums, directory websites, shaming websites, pornographic internet sites, and more.
If the damaging content crosses a line into the realm of content that can be litigated about – such as provable deformation by a journalist in a news article, or something stated in a video, or something far more sinister such as ‘revenge porn’, our reputation lawyers can serve as your experienced legal counsel in such proceedings. We are also the experts who can help you determine if legal action is an option in your specific case, and will be happy to do so if you contact us.
To remove offensive internet content, our reputation lawyers employ a range of legal theories and content removal strategies. Defamation, privacy, and intellectual property laws are intertwined with this, as well as our deep understanding of the conditions of social media platforms and other Internet properties across the globe.
Despite the large array of content removal alternatives available depending on each specific circumstance, we often use one or more of the following strategies:
Asking the individual who published the item to take it down may be the easiest approach to remove it from the internet. This might be as an editorial enquiry, a diplomatic outreach, or a cease-and-desist letter. The specifics of your scenario will have a big impact on how well this strategy works, but often the simple fact that the request is coming from a lawyer, rather than a private individual, or a company representative, is far more powerful and persuasive and leads to swifter than expected compliance.
Anyone who has ever tried to report content to a massive company like Facebook knows that getting any action at all, let alone the removal they are seeking, can be a frustrating and fruitless process. Often these simple requests are handled by AI or by a non-human algorithm, and are rarely seen, or dealt with, by a thinking, reasoning human being, let alone one with knowledge of the law.
Working with our reputation lawyers can help. Again, the ‘clout’ of a request being made by a lawyer rather than a private individual or company rep can be very powerful, and our experienced reputation lawyers have ensured that they have developed additional contacts and avenues of communication within a variety of internet properties and media companies that can get reputation protecting results far faster and more effectively than can be achieved by a non-legal request alone.
Google has a zero tolerance policy for some sorts of content that can cause serious reputational harm, such as spam and revenge porn, despite the fact that they can be stringent about rejecting requests to remove information from internet search results if they find them frivolous.
Although Google is unable to delete the information from the offending website, this strategy can be very beneficial in preventing harmful content from being discovered by casual internet users and spread even further.
In addition, as reputation lawyers, we may be able to help you file what is known as a DMC Takedown notice if material being used to damage your reputation contains copyrighted material that you own – images are an excellent example of this.
Once such a notice is obtained, Google and other search engines are required by law to remove the content from their search results and other websites will be legally prohibited from sharing it as well.
In some cases, bringing a lawsuit to obtain a court order ordering a person or website to delete something is the only way to get it down. Additionally, if you are being slandered by an anonymous person, bringing a lawsuit can be your only recourse. Without the court’s subpoena power, you might not be able to identify the individual who is disparaging you if they are using a pseudonym.
Court proceedings can be confusing and complex, but having a reputation lawyer from Pearl Lemon Legal on your side can help simplify them a great deal, while also greatly improving your chances of success.
An additional benefit of working with our reputation lawyers specifically is that they are also experts in the field of alternative dispute resolution. Where it might be helpful, and can help avoid costly, and potentially reputation damaging in itself, formal legal action they can help facilitate productive discussion and broker a sensible agreement that will protect your reputation and get the results you want without the ‘offending’ party suffering as many negative consequences themselves.
Whatever damage content on or off the Internet is doing to your personal or business reputation, we may be able to help. Reach out and speak to a reputation lawyer today to learn more about how we might be able to help you.
For a free, no-obligation conversation about how we might be able to help with your current legal issues, please contact us today.