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Houston Attorney and Legal Author Paul Sternberg Shares Insight on Online Defamation and Website Removal
Paul Sternberg is an attorney and serial entrepreneur in Houston, TX, who has spent years studying and providing helpful advice to clients impacted by online defamation. Below, he gives readers a few insights into what online defamation is and how it should be handled lawfully.
Over half of the entire world is online in some form or another, making it the biggest watering hole of international communication in history. Over time, the internet has become an especially useful tool for improving businesses and creating a global reputation (whether professionally or personally). It’s easy to understand, then, that online attacks against people or businesses can cause serious lasting damage.
“Online defamation can be a major burden requiring a lot of time and energy to resolve,” says Paul Sternberg.
Without the help of hired professionals such as Paul Sternberg of Houston, tackling online defamation proves to be a struggle. However, understanding a few basic elements will help the attacked resolve issues and seek out the appropriate assistance with ease.
What is considered defamation?
Online defamation is a false or injurious statement made on the internet. It can appear as a post on social media or a comment made in a chat room. Online defamation can be found in group pages and on review websites like Ripoff Report and Pissed Consumer. Regardless of the platform it appears on, defamation can have detrimental results on a person’s or company’s reputation for years to come.
“The freedom of speech gives a person their right to speak their beliefs and opinions without fear of censorship or government interference,” says Sternberg. “However, that freedom is limited under certain circumstances.”
In order to fight online defamation and seek to remove its source, you must prove that the attack was performed with either malice or negligence in mind. Statements made with malice are knowingly false or display some reckless disregard of the truth. Negligence implies the failure to discover if there was any truth in the communication before publishing it in the first place.
Website Removal Due to Defamation
The first thing to understand is that the timing required to respond to defamation is sensitive. If too much time elapses before a libel lawsuit is filed, you can lose your right to a civil remedy. However, a case made in time with enough concrete evidence supporting defamatory statements can have a positive resolution.
Next, you must uncover the proper link source of the defamation (typically a URL link in the case of online defamation). Before you can ask Google to remove an associated comment or page, you have to provide the exact link without any typos or else the process can be delayed or even dismissed. This usually requires a Court Order.
If working with an attorney, it’s critical you provide them this link to use moving forward as it’s the source of the entire case. The attorney can then submit information via Google’s Legal Removal Requests webpage and start the ball rolling.
“Removing online defamation on your own is confusing and strenuous,” says Paul Sternberg of Houston, “so it’s highly recommended that every client contacts an experienced online defamation attorney as early on as possible.”