The Pitri Dish of Online Defamation

Posted by admin | October 12th, 2011

There is a type of online defamation lawsuits that are popularly known as “Twibel”. These are cases in which defamation or libel have not only occurred online, but they have taken place through the social network Twitter. Twitter is actually a perfect place to study online defamation. It acts as an online pitri dish because of all of the instances in which individuals who do not know each other are discussing controversial topics in short statements. It lends itself to defamation, even if the individual in question isn’t necessarily trying to defame anyone.Recently, a twibel case occurred in Oregon.

Darm is suing Tiffany Craig for $1 million.

The case stems from commentary on Craig’s Twitter feed, @tcraighenry, and her blog, Criminallyvulgar, where the 31-year-old IT worker writes about everything from current events, computer technology and gaming to the treatment of women in comics and her large collection of shoes.

The case is an interesting one that has ramifications for the Google reputation management industry. It will be interesting to see if Darm’s online reputation is harmed more by the original statement, or the news of the lawsuit.


Reputation Management services - are becoming a crucial need for any company with an online presence. Reputation Hawk is a leader in this field.

Prior Restraint and Injunctive Relief in Online Defamation Cases

Posted by admin | August 16th, 2011

The issue of prior restraint and injunctive relief is not usually a big issue for the online reputation management industry or online defamation suits. However, this article brings to light a number of issues regarding both injunctive relief in the courts and prior restraint. The lack of prominence in online defamation law for both of these issues is somewhat surprising, considering how often they are actually cited in the papers. Then again, as the article notes, most of these lawsuits are actually settled or thrown out before ever going in front of a jury.

Usually, nothing comes of that request — only a tiny sliver of defamation cases ever make it to a jury (the bulk getting tossed out or settled), and even when a plaintiff wins, the result is usually just money. Since we almost never see one of these injunctions make it off the pages of the complaint, higher courts haven’t had to deal with their implications — but the idea of a court-ordered takedown of somebody’s speech should send your prior-restraint klaxons blaring.

It certainly is concerning to anyone who has a concern for free speech, but for those who are tired of seeing online defamation ruining peoples lives, it is also an option we think ought to maybe be put on the table more often, even if it isn’t necessarily used.


Online Defamation - is becoming increasingly common amongst industry competitor’s. Many organizations are using firms like Reputation Hawk to clean up and secure their search results before the unwanted publicity impacts their bottom line.

Tips and Reasons

Posted by admin | May 26th, 2011

Search engine reputation management is not an industry that is very well understood by people who have never had to deal with it first hand. Furthermore, while many articles will suggest you handle the issue yourself instead of hiring a company, there are very few places to find out how best to do that. This article contains a good overview of why the industry is important and some basic tips on how to handle online reputation management personally.

What is the importance of online reputation? Bad postings, negative feedback in blogs, horrible testimonials in popular forums, unrealistic scam allegations, product reviews from false users and disgruntled employees can potentially put a company out of business.

The first step they list, of course, is to Google yourself. How will you know if you even have a reputation problem if you don’t do some research on yourself? One of the other best pieces of advice is to use social media. This is an essential part of any successful Google reputation management campaign.


Unwanted publicity - can be like a virus on the Internet. There are firms such as Reputation Hawk that specialize in cleaning it up.

Online Bedside Manner

Posted by admin | May 24th, 2011

Everyday, it seems, there is an online defamation suit being filed of some notoriety. This one caught my eye because of the seemingly mild manner of the complaint. A judge dismissed a lawsuit concerning online defamation when a doctor brought a suit against the son of a patient, whom he saw for a stroke, because of the son’s postings on an online review website.

But St. Louis County District Court Judge Eric L. Hylden said the statements were “nothing more or less than one man’s description of shock at the way he and in particular his father were treated by his physician” and said there was no reason to treat online comments any differently than more traditional means of expression.

While I disagree that chatting it up with your friend about a doctor’s bedside manner is the same as posting an online review or comment about him, I get the basic point of what the judge is saying. There is no reason to intervene here because in the end, the son is just expressing his opinion about the services rendered by the doctor. Ultimately, this boils down to the doctor wanting to protect his online reputation. If that is his real concern, he should turn to reputation management instead of lawsuits.


Cleaning up your search results - is possible through firms that specialize in Internet Reputation Management. Reputation Hawk has offered this service since early 2007 when the industry first began.

Bacon is Good…At What He Does

Posted by admin | May 16th, 2011

Louis Bacon is a billionaire and a hedge fund manager in the United States who does not take kindly to being defamed online. He filed an online defamation suit against Wikipedia, WordPress, and the Denver Post in an effort to get them to disclose the identities, or at least IP addresses, of their commenters, who have remained anonymous until now. Bacon appears to have won the suit, which means he should get some relief in the form of suing for damages over the online defamation. However, things are not always that clear-cut when it comes to online defamation.

But according to legal experts, it may be a difficult proposition to get these US companies to agree with the UK court order. The Guardian reports that the Wikimedia Foundation, and Automattic (the company that owns WordPress) have stated it will only comply with a US subpoena for such data.

Louis Bacon is a man who clearly cares about his online reputation. In addition to his (highly successful) lawsuits, he should look to Google reputation management, too. This could serve as a protection against online defamation being seen by too many others.


Reputation Hawk - specializes in suppressing unwanted publicity in Google, Yahoo, Bing, and every other search engine on the internet.

Dangerous Precedent | Online Defamation Law Suits

Posted by admin | April 27th, 2011

While this court case has no bearing here in the United States, it certainly is a good reason to be a tad alarmed. The various laws that govern online defamation, both here in the United States and abroad, are constantly changing thanks to court systems and legislatures. However, this decision by the court is a dangerous precedent that we should hope does not sweep through the world’s court systems and legislatures.


A Milan judge has found Google Italy guilty of defamation because of the way its search engine linked the name of an Italian businessman to the word “fraud” and has ordered the company to modify the operation of its Autocomplete service.


In total, Google was only fined $5500, but they were also told to change the way their autocomplete works. Also, $5500 per complaint could pile up quickly in a class-action lawsuit. The ramifications for Google reputation management are legion, too. Search engine reputation management specialists should follow cases like this more closely.


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The Dangers of Online Reputation | Online Defamation Law Suits

Posted by admin | April 11th, 2011

WestLaw News & Insight is a website that can help anyone interested in virtually any legal topic. It is particularly useful for those legal areas which are constantly evolving and changing, still. One of those areas, online defamation, is covered by WestLaw really well. This article concerns the evolving law facing online posters.


In Jeffrey M. Miller, et ano v. Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, Inc., et al, Indiana Superior Court, Marion County, Cause No. 49D14-1003-PL-014761, a former CEO of a non-profit organization, in an effort to expand a pending defamation action, sought to identify the person who posted, under the name “DownWithTheColts,” allegedly defamatory comments about the CEO on the website of the Indianapolis Star. He sought an order compelling the Star to disclose information, such as the poster’s Internet Protocol address, that would identify the pseudonymous poster.


The Communications Decency Act covers the idea that the website, The Star, might be liable for the commenter’s statements, they aren’t. And the CEO doesn’t seem to be seeking damages from The Star, he simply wants to know the identity of the individuals whom, he says, defamed him.

Online commenters should be careful about what they say online, even if they think they have anonymous protections. Online reputations matter these days, they can effect whether you get hired by a company or not. Google Reputation Management is the industry that can attest to this fact.


Internet Reputation Management - is the practice of shaping a company or person’s search results. Reputation Hawk has provided this service since 2007.

Lawyers Sue Ex-Paralegal | Online Defamation Law Suits

Posted by admin | March 31st, 2011

The Internet is a major source for information these days, especially about businesses with which individuals have never worked. Plastic surgeons, psychologists, medical doctors, and lawyers are just a couple of the professionals whose livelihoods depend upon positive results popping up when people plug their names or practices into Google. This case, involving lawyers and an ex-Paralegal, is a pretty interesting one.


The Bellaire law firm Weston & Associates and name partner Michael Weston are seeking $1.25 million for the review posted at Citysearch.com, Texas Lawyer reports. The defendants are the one-time paralegal, Amber Williams, and her husband, Jon, both Houston residents.


The suit claims Amber Williams was fired for insubordination in November 2010 after less than a month on the job, according to the Texas Lawyer story.


Citysearch.com already removed the review, but Weston & Associates is apparently still seeking the massive amounts of damages. This is a legitimate case, don’t let the oddness of it scare you away. It will be an interesting one to watch develop, it could have major repercussions for reputation management efforts–anyone who gets updates on the case, leave news in the comments section.


Negative Publicity online - can immediately hurt a company’s profitability. Reputation Hawk specializes in suppressing unwanted publicity.

Court Protects Online Reputation | Online Defamation Law Suits

Posted by admin | March 10th, 2011

Online defamation is a charge that is being taken more seriously by many courts. Some would say that we are lucky that the courts are deciding the issue, rather than congress, since the courts seem to be making good decisions at the moment and the last time congress made a good decision…well…it’s just better if the courts handle it, that’s the point. A former CEO in Indianapolis is suing a local news channel’s website in order to ascertain the identity of his anonymous detractors–and the court ruled in his favor.


The defamation suit filed by Jeffrey Miller, former chief executive of Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, targets online statements that allege, among other things, that he “most likely” committed a criminal act and is “the most greedy man I’ve ever known,” the Indianapolis Star reports in a separate story.


It is tough enough, as is, to maintain a decent online reputation without having to worry about people intentionally scarring your reputation anonymously.


Search Engine Reputation Management - is the practice of suppressing unwanted publicity in major search engines. Reputation Hawk is a leader in this field.

Love Had No Love for Fashion Designer | Online Defamation Law Suits

Posted by admin | February 8th, 2011

Online defamation lawsuits often involve random people accusing each other of the worst sort of acts, usually on some random blog. So often we fail to see the true consequences of online defamation lawsuits.


This Courtney Love lawsuit has made a lot of waves recently, that’s for sure. It’s guaranteed to make a few more before everything is said and done. Although a settlement is likely, it has attracted quite a lot of attention to the problem of online defamation and the lack of legal solutions.


“In some respects, it’s social media on trial,” said Bryan Freedman of Freedman & Taitelman in Los Angeles, who represents Simorangkir. “As more and more people defame people using the Internet as a tool and using social media as the forum, there’s a question of how much you believe what you read.”


The trial would’ve been an interesting spectacle, especially since big personalities like Courtney Love would’ve been involved. But ultimately, this is not the type of trial you want determining the future of jurisprudence regarding online defamation.


Reputation Hawk - was one of the first companies to specialize in the field of Internet Reputation Management.