Frequently Asked Questions About Online Attacks Against You Or Your Business

What are your legal remedies when someone has slandered or defamed you or your business online? At Sternberg Law Firm in Houston, attorney Paul Sternberg and our team help clients find answers to such questions, as well as solutions.

Below are some examples of questions we often hear from new and existing clients.

What Is Internet Defamation?

Internet defamation is a false allegation or remark that is either printed or given to a third party. These publications or statements are intended to cause harm to an individual’s or business’s reputation. Furthermore, internet defamation involves misleading comments about a person or a company. Internet defamation happens in many forms such as online reviews, social media websites as well as blog articles.

How Can A Business Protect Itself From Cyberbullying And Other Types Of Online Defamation?

Just as you conduct annual or quarterly financial audits, regulatory compliance inventories and employment training updates, you must not neglect to pay attention to your company’s online presence, including potential occurrences of defamation. Above all: Be aware. Update regularly. Be proactive.

Protecting and polishing your online reputation may be as simple as keeping your website fresh, monitoring comments on social media, paying attention to online reviews and doing regular checkups on search engines to see if there is any chatter among the general public about your business and its goods, services or employees. However, anytime controversy involving your brand may arise, get in touch with an online reputation management specialist for more pointed advice.

What Type Of Claim Can Be Used To Get Relief From Defamation?

Defamation is a state lawsuit, and the lawful elements of the claim vary by state. Common elements of a defamation case include the following:

  • A statement made to a third party
  • Information that is:
    • About the plaintiff
    • Misleading, false or a lie
    • Defamatory, libelous or slanderous
  • A statement that was harmful because it:
    • Was made negligently or with genuine resentment
    • Caused infliction to the plaintiff’s reputation or business.

How Can You Remove A Defamatory Website?

An attorney may help you get a website suppressed in search engines. There is also a possibility for outright removal when it comes to defamatory content online.

Court orders are the most popular approach when working to combat negative defamatory information.

If you are going up against defamation, your attorney may first obtain and submit a court order explaining why that post or photo is defamatory.

Next, after the filing of the claim with the court, a copy of the court order is sent to the webmaster who owns that specific website.

If our team can prove a post is indeed defamatory, with the submission of a court order, Google will likely remove the content in question.

Once Google removes a website and prevents it from being indexed within the search results, no one should be able to find it again.

Where Can I Get More Detailed Information About Online Reputation Management?

For a general but very thorough discussion of the topic, get a copy of attorney Paul Sternberg’s book, ‘The Guide to Internet Defamation and Website Removal,’ and refer to it often. For tailored guidance, however, you should request a customized review by a specialist of your business’s online goals and presence. If you or your business is already experiencing troubles such as cyberbullying or online “trolling,” consult with a lawyer at our firm to discuss specific, cost-effective remedies and preventive measures. 

Bring Your Questions About Protection Of Your Online Reputation

Attorney Sternberg and the team are here to help you prevent or recover from online defamation, bullying and harassment.

Schedule a consultation by calling 713-570-6226 or submitting an inquiry online.