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Internet Defamation of a Business - How to handle negative posts and reviews
One of the most frustrating things that can happen to your business is having a person (ex. past client) defame you on google. Since it is in writing the defamation is known as "libel." But what can you legally do about? Can you sue Yelp or Google? Can you file an defamation lawsuit against the person or is their "opinion" protected by the first amendment and the ANTI-SLAPP laws? Attorney Steve the business, real estate and intellectual property lawyer discusses his top tips on how to handle this type of situation.
For those who do not want to listen, we suggest you:
1. Try to work it out with the complaining party
2. Try to get positive reviews to drown out the negative reviews
3. See if there are any technical measures on the social media platform at issue (ex. BBB, Yel, Google, etc.) to remove or delete the negative comment, or place your own rebuttal.
4. Consider sending a letter to the website hosting the comments (do not hold your breath on this one)
5. Consider filing a defamation lawsuit as a last resort (keeping in mind "going legal" can come back to bite you in some cases.
If you need help as to #5 above, call us at (877) 276-5084. Sometimes filing a lawsuit (if the person has assets worth going after) might be a viable solution, but all factors need to be considered.
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- Attorney Steve -