For removing content from Google, you usually need a court order. To get a court order to remove Defamatory content from Google’s Listing, you have to:
File a defamation lawsuit in the court of competent jurisdiction,
Identify the poster if they are nameless, often with a summons for their IP address and name,
Prove in court that the statement was defamatory, and
Submit the court order to Google.
The cyber lawyer dealing with defamation at the ICLRC (Cyber Protection Company) can help throughout this process.
What is Online Defamation?
Online defamation is the online publication of a statement of fact that is verifiably false and that is harmful to your reputation. When it is written, as most online statements are, it is libel. If it is spoken, like in a YouTube published video, it is called slander.
Rivalry in Businesses
Online defamation is often done due to rivalry in businesses. The libelous statements are frequently made in online reviews, social media posts, or even in articles. The victims of these false and harmful statements are entitled to legal damages. These may also cause financial and monetary compensation, and foremost the removal of the content.
When defamation is online, the main way that the false or misleading statement is spread is through search engines, particularly Google. People who use Google to learn about your business end up finding the defamatory content, instead, hurting your reputation and discouraging clients and customers. The financial loss that your business can suffer can be significant.
Removing Offensive Contents from the Search Engines
Removing offending content from the search results is often one of the most important parts of protecting your business.
Google’s Role in Online Defamation
It is important to remember that Google’s role in online defamation is viral of false information, not as its creator. Search engines like Google merely index what is on the internet and tell users what websites are relevant and important for their search query.
Contact the Poster to Remove the Content
The first step for most businesses who have found that someone is slandering them online is to politely ask the poster to remove their own content. While it rarely produces results, it is often still worth doing for two reasons:
It shows that you are trying to find a reasonable solution, and
You can learn more about what the other person is saying.
You need to be cool, and take reasonable steps to resolve the situation can improve your credibility, should the case go to court. More notably, you can find out if what the person is saying about you or your business is actually true.
Truth is Defense
Truth is a defense to defamation claims, and if you file a lawsuit and lose because the court finds that the statement that you thought was defamatory was actually true. You will now have a publically available court ruling that affirms that the negative statement about your business was correct, a very damning result.
If the poster refuses to take their defamatory online content down, you can accelerate it by sending a cease-and-desist letter. This does not necessarily have to be done through the mail. Mostly in online defamation cases, sending it may take some creativity. Engaging a lawyer to send it will give the notice far more gravitas, because it will make it clear to the poster that you are willing to follow through on your demands and take legal action.
Filing of Defamation Lawsuit in Competent Court
The next step may be to file a defamation lawsuit. While it is better to have the name of the poster on the complaint at the outset, the claim can be filed as a “defendant ” lawsuit. You can then file a subpoena, a court-backed demand for information, to discover the poster’s IP address and their name. Once you have their name, the complaint can be amended to include their identity and then served on the defendant.
If the case goes to trial and you win the judgment, you will get a court order saying that the statement was, in fact, defamatory. If you settle the case with the defendant, though, they will have to admit wrongdoing in order for you to get a court order that will work.
Other Relevent Posts