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Primer on Stopping Defamation of Character Posted on the Internet: False information is easy to post on the internet. Internet defamation of character, web defamation, libel, slander and false light invasion of privacy are easy words to say, but much harder to prove. The elements which must be proven to establish that a statement, post, comment or rating qualifies as actionable are complex. The First Amendment right to free speech allows a wide birth of free comment and opinion. Even seasoned defamation attorneys can be overwhelmed by the technical aspects which control cases where the false statement of fact is posted on-line. Damages for defamation of character can be substantial. anti-SLAPP laws create additional risks. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) provide immunity to web publishers in many many instances.

Review the articles on this page and use the search box to find even more information for defamation victims and those accused of defamation, web slander or internet libel. Or visit our "what is internet defamation of character" page to learn more.
September 24, 2014

RipoffReport and Owner Ed Magedson targeted as part of Criminal Investigation

Ed Magedson is currently facing criminal charges for his part in the posting of defamatory comments against State’s witnesses who had testified against convicted murderer Tracey Richter.  The online posts were published in hopes to discredit these individuals.  It is reported that Darren Meade, an employee of Ed Magedson, published the harassing and defamatory accusations about State’s Internet investigationwitnesses at the direction of Tracey Richter and Anna Richter, Tracey Richter’s mother, by posting them as ‘complaints’ on www.ripoffreport.com.  It is suspected that Darren Meade had hoped to use these defamatory postings to collect money from those defamed by charging them and other customers for the removal of such slanderous postings on the website.  However, Darren Meade has alleged that it was Ed Magedson who directed him to post such complaints in exchange for promoting his work. 

Below are some of the quotes taken from the Search Warrant Affidavit submitted by SAC County attorney to obtain evidentiary items that were in the possession of Anna Richter.  It is believed that such information and evidence is now being used to charge Ed Magedson with conspiracy in connection with the 2011 murder trial of Tracey Richter, who was the ex-wife of one of Ripoff Report’s most vocal critics – Michael Roberts: 

Continue reading RipoffReport and Owner Ed Magedson targeted as part of Criminal Investigation >>
July 30, 2014

Online Defamation through Consumer Reporting Websites

There are several websites on the internet that allow individuals to report information regarding poor services, misconduct of actions by others or for providing unsatisfactory goods.  One such website, RipoffReport.com, has currently been in the news because a family member of convicted murderer Tracey Richter was using RipoffReport.com to defame the reputations of witnesses by providing statements to Ripoff Report that these people were guilty of perjury, fraud, child molestation, murder and terrorism, which was then posted on Ripoff Report’s website.  RipoffReport.com is claiming that they are not responsible for any inaccurate statements that users post on their website.  What Are They Saying

It is being reported that many of these statements are false and are tarnishing the reputations of these individuals and/or their businesses.  If a lawsuit is filed, someone could be held responsible of internet defamation for the posting of false and damaging statements about these individuals.  However, if RipoffReport.com did not screen the posts, invite additional offensive postings, elaborate with their own comments, and/or call upon others to respond in kind, then they could be viewed as not being responsible for any internet defamation on their part pursuant to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), thereby leaving those individuals that posted these online statements as the responsible party for online defamation.

If you find yourself the victim of online defamation that is causing irrefutable harm to your reputation, business and/or brands, the highly experienced internet defamation attorneys can help you protect your reputation on the internet. 

November 01, 2011

What Can I Do About Defamation of Character on the Internet?

My name is Enrico Schaefer, welcome to Defamation Law Radio. We get this question a lot “What can I do about defamation of character on the internet?”  When you believe you’ve been defamed online, there are a number of different strategies that you can put in place in order to try and either minimize the problem or resolve the problem, but the variables are extensive. 

Internet defamation comes in so many different forms and in so many varieties.  It is propagated across so many types of websites.  So, if you have been the victim, or you believe you’ve been the victim of internet-based defamation of character, the first thing you need to do is do a proper assessment of your situation. 


Continue reading What Can I Do About Defamation of Character on the Internet? >>
September 21, 2011

Doctor Defamation: Taking Down Internet Libel & Protecting A Physician's Reputation

Internet defamation attorneys Brian A. Hall and Enrico Schaefer of Traverse Legal, PLC discuss what doctors, lawyers and other professionals should do if someone says or posts something derogatory about them or their business online.

1.  Defamation against Doctors and other professionals is rampant. There is a balance between having a thick skin and protecting you on-line reputation.

2.  Blog posts, comments and doctor review web sites make posting false information as easy as hitting "submit"

3.  A false statement of fact - internet defamation - can cost a doctor or physician big time.  A professional's prime asset is their reputation.

4.  Every doctor should be doing the following things to protect against internet libel and defamation.

    a. Make sure you register domain names and social media vanity URLs incorporating the doctor's name, and variations.

    b. Monitor the internet for problems. Top web sites and doctor rating sites for defamation on the internet include Yelp, ComplaintsBoard, RipOffReport, Google Places listing, DoctorScorecard.com, angieslist.com, ratemds.com, vitals.com, haelthgrades.com

    c. Develop a strategy to deal with false allegations about physicians when problems arise.  An internet lawyer knows how to deal with these problems, strategies for having content removed, posts deleted and potentially removed from the search engines such as Google Yahoo and Bing.

Continue reading Doctor Defamation: Taking Down Internet Libel & Protecting A Physician's Reputation >>
August 25, 2011

Internet Defamation and Libel Tips for Doctors, Lawyers and other Professionals

Perhaps the most vulnerable people to the phenomena of internet defamation and internet libel are professionals.  If you are a doctor, lawyer, accountant, physician, or other professional dealing directly with consumers, your online reputation is always at risk.  Posting defamatory comments on the internet is as easy as opening a web browser, navigating to a website and entering, and writing a comment or post as an anonymous user.  All too often, the information posted on the internet is factually wrong and diminishes the professional’s reputation.  Here are some tips to protect your online reputation in the Internet Era:

Continue reading Internet Defamation and Libel Tips for Doctors, Lawyers and other Professionals >>
June 21, 2011

Sue For Defamation of Character and Risk Making Matters Worse?

Defamation of character update:

"Sue for defamation of character" is a common request by clients seeking representation for false and defamatory Internet content, a post, a comment or web site. But filing a defamation or libel lawsuit is more often the last step, rather than the first. Anit-SLAPP laws provide for attorney fees against the Plaintiff if the defamation of character claim does not meet minimum requirements. The Internet can turn against you quickly multiplying one defamatory statement into dozens of publications. Suing for defamation of character is something you may HAVE to do.  But solving the problem without a lawsuit is almost always preferable.

An experienced Defamation / Libel attorney knows that the first step is to assess the claims, get the facts and provide advice to the client on how to proceed.  "Can I sue for defamation of character?" is the first question you should ask your lawyer.  The second step is often a request to the web site host, author of the libelous statement or web site owner, to remove the content. Often times, the web site Terms of Service (TOS) prohibit defamatory statements and the operator of the site will be willing to remove the content upon proposer request, complete with documentation establishing that the statements are false or that the author is not who they say they are.

Before suing for defamation of character, make sure you and your lawyer fully understand the facts and the law. Don't let emotions get the best of you.  Make an informed business decision based on solid legal advice.

March 16, 2011

Internet Defamation Lawyer | Should I Sue for Defamation of Character?

Before you sue for defamation…many clients who are the victims of defamation of character on the internet ask whether or not they should sue for defamation? 

As with most other areas of law, the first task of an experienced internet defamation lawyer is to perform an assessment of the particular facts and circumstances for each individual client.  No two on-line defamation issues are the same. 

Continue reading Internet Defamation Lawyer | Should I Sue for Defamation of Character? >>
March 14, 2011

An Internet Defamation Attorney Discusses Online Libel Law Issues

Internet Defamation Attorney Enrico Schaefer of Traverse Legal, PLC discusses what you should do if someone says something derogatory about you or your business online.

  • The first thing you have to do is identify who the person is that posted the derogatory or defamatory statement.
  • Identify the registrant of the domain name. 
  • See if you can determine whether or not the registrant of the domain name is the same person who is operating the website
Continue reading An Internet Defamation Attorney Discusses Online Libel Law Issues >>
March 10, 2011

Statute of Limitations for Internet Slander Cases | Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

What is the statute of limitations for defamation?

I am an internet defamation attorney.  Every day. I get calls and emails from average people and companies who are defamed on-line with false statements on a web site, blog post or comment somewhere on the internet. Often, it is a disgruntled employee, competitor or adversary who decides to engage in defamation on the internet in order to achieve pay-back or retribution for some perceived grievance.

One of the first questions an attorney will ask is "when was the defamatory statement posted on the internet?" While there are sometimes exceptions, the general rule in most states is that you have one year to bring a lawsuit for defamation from the date of publication. The statute of limitations for internet defamation, libel, or slander cases in most states is one year. While the discovery rule and "re-publication" of the post or comment can extend the statute of limitations is some circumstances, you need to contact a defamation lawyer to understand how long you have to file a claim for libel in court before your time runs out. Continue reading to see the statute of limitations period for each state, including California, Texas, New York, Florida, Michigan and other states.

Continue reading Statute of Limitations for Internet Slander Cases | Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace >>
March 08, 2011

Internet Defamation Attorney Discusses How To Protect Against Online Slander

Internet Defamation affects more people than just about any other on-line issue, beyond privacy concerns.  As an internet defamation attorney, I get calls and emails every day from people who have been defamed on-line, either on a bulletin board post, blog post, user generated blog comment, FaceBook post, Twitter post or other review web site comment. Their reputation has been attacked and the web page with the defamatory content is being returned as a high search engine result.  Their business associates, competitors, neighbors, church congregation, employees and friends need only Google "their name" or their "company name" to be exposed to hurtful, false and defamatory statements.  An online defamation attorney knows all too well how difficult it is for clients when the internet spews libelous content for everyone to see.  Here are some things you need to know and understand before you decide to sue for defamation, slander, or libel:

Continue reading Internet Defamation Attorney Discusses How To Protect Against Online Slander >>
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