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Address your Defamation Problem-Get to the Source!

Address your Defamation Problem-Get to the Source!

Seems like every day it is being continually covered in the media what most of us are aware of which is……that judges in many locations are holding the poster liable for defamation but not the website itself. C’mon people, get with the program…In the United States, this is simply known as the Communications Decency Act, Section 230 or CDA 230.

We see this on a daily basis and so do many lawyers and court rooms. In our experience, the attorneys that we talk with, this is one of the most common mistakes that people or victims of defamation can make. The problem being, the person or entity that is being defamed tries to hold the 3rd party site accountable when they don’t realize the time and money they are wasting.  Often they will first send a cease and desist to places like Google, Yelp, Citysearch, etc. Unfortunately that is a pointless exercise, case in point the CDA 230. As clarified in the article along with other sites Google is “merely a neutral service provider and had no control over the content”.  For a shorter explanation read any sites Privacy Policy or User Policy, it clearly states they are not responsible for content posted by its users.

When the victims or their lawyers don’t get the result they wanted or expected, then it gets suggested step is to sue that web site. Again a mistake!

The whole intent of going after the poster/author of the defamatory material is to identify them and make them take off the false or defamatory material. This CAN BE done even if you do not know who the actual attacker is.

John Doe lawsuit is used to solve this. This is when you or your business becomes victim of false attacks or defamatory content that has caused harm in one way or another and can Prove it.  The John Doe subpoena would trace back information to the actual poster to retrieve information about the author who posted the material, no matter which site they went through to do it.

It all boils down to if you are a victim of defamation and you are going to your spend time and your money going after  the attacker make sure you have a plan in place on identifying and going after the source.