Online Reputation Management and Repair and the Law
Recover Online Reputations and the law.
Recovering an online reputation usually involves inundating the internet with positive content: blog posts, micro-blog sites, and other information.
However, sometimes legal action might be considered a solution in some cases. This can be challenging and problematic because of the time, money and effort required—and often there still is the need to clean up the online reputation.
Take the case Vogel v. Felice in California, as mentioned in the Citizens Media Law Project site.
John Vogel and Paul Grannis, who at the time were candidates for public office, sued Joseph Felice for libel, and a range of other complaints.
The post says, “…Felice operated several websites on Geocities that allegedly contained defamatory statements…including “a list entitled ‘Top Ten Dumb Asses,'” as well as other statements, such, “’…Wanted as a Dead Beat Dad,’ …Bankrupt, Drunk & Chewin’ tobaccy’’.
The web poster Felice attempted to, “…strike the complaint under California’s anti-SLAPP statute…which requires dismissal [due to] free speech…in connection with a public issue.’”
In a trial, Vogal lost, because, “’he had failed to establish…that Felice acted with “’actual malice.’” Also, it was concluded that being called a “dumb ass” was not defamatory because it was a statement of opinion and could not be proven factually. As a result, the information stayed online and it was impossible to recover an online reputation.
Steven W Giovinco