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Every situation is different so by far the best way to find out how to respond to a social media legal issue is to speak to those who are most likely to have dealt with a situation similar to yours.
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Defamation against a business

Defamation against a business on internet forums, blogs and other social media could very easily slip out of control and turn a business’ reputation from brilliant to poor. Typically, a single customer or a former employee will post defamation against a business they had engaged with to create the false impression of general customer’s dissatisfaction. Often this type of action becomes self- fulfilling prophecy. Real or potential customers become influenced by the negativity they read about the business online and they respond by either moving away from the company or by not engaging with it in the first place.

Before responding to a negative review or to online defamation against your business, remember that once you post a statement online, you might never be able to take it back. Always consider the impact of any statement you volunteer to the online community on your business’ long term reputation. Decisions concerning a response to online defamation against a business should be strategic and account for the likely consequences of each action or inaction.

We believe that most UK business owners are great people who work relentlessly to cement their good reputation among their customers. Defamation against a business, large or small could undo years of hard work. As a business owner, you have a choice to either respond to online defamation against your business, ignore it or pursue a hard line and have it removed from the internet altogether.

Before deciding what to do, just consider what message you wish to send out to your consumers, investors and to your employees. Is it in your business best interest to publicly respond to the defamation or perhaps your company’s long term interest will be better served by taking a tougher, uncompromising approach? This is a hard choice, we know. A real gamble on the future of your business’ reputation. It therefore makes sense to call us, free, on 0800 612 7211 because it is likely that we have already dealt with a similar case to yours at least once in the past 20 years.

  • Defamation by investors - defamation against a company and defamation against directors

    In a case that is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK concerning online defamation by investors against a company, online defamation and social media specialist solicitor firm Cohen Davis won damages for its PLC client, a gold mining company Red Rock Resources (RRR) after the company was defamed on social media by one of its small yet vocal investors.

  • Questions about defamatory online reviews

    Many people genuinely believe and even insist that review websites are there to enhance consumer’s ability to make the right choice or to educate them in choosing; a reputable supplier, a builder, an estate agent or even a holiday provider - and they are dead wrong. The truth is that the vast majority of those who operate review websites have clever systems that are aimed at benefitting them financially by encouraging visitors to their website to write negative reviews. This is often achieved by attacking and consequently destroying the reputation of good, honest and well established businesses across the UK.

  • Jurisdiction: United States remove defamation twitter solicitors

    Pages removed from: Twitter

    Date of removal: 20 May 2016

    Number of pages removed: 1

    Additional information: Our client became victim of blackmail on the internet which was carried out on social media by a number of individuals. Our defamation lawyers took swift action to close down a defamatory Twitter account because it was used to defame and spread false allegations against our client. 

  • Are fake reviews legal in the UK?

    Writing a fake online review has never been easier. A fast growing industry of online review ‎websites leaves very little hope to those business owners who want to play it fair. ‎

    The number of fake online reviews is constantly growing. A significant number of fake online ‎reviews are written by business owners who often act in despair after becoming ‎victims of fake online reviews.‎

  • Jurisdiction: United Kingdom Stop defamation anonymous unknown source

    Pages removed from: WordPress

    Date of removal: 08 May 2017

    Number of pages removed: 1

    Additional information: Our client, a successful mining company incorporated in Australia, was defamed on the internet. A website was published, containing highly defamatory articles with the intent of causing our client as much damage as possible. However, the website creators’ identities remained hidden, by a VPN service, allowing the campaign of defamation anonymously against our client. Our defamation and harassment solicitors successfully obtained a Norwich Pharmacal Order (NPO) against the parent company of, Privax Limited, which in turn provided the identification of the users through their IP addresses. 

  • Jurisdiction: United State, Arizona.remove rip off report lawyers. Remove defamation

    Pages removed from: Rip Off Report.

    Date of removal: 23 October 2013.

    Number of web pages removed: 2.

    Additional information: Removed defamation from RipOffReport. Obtained disclosure orders and identified poster who was subsequently arrested, prosecuted and convicted at Iselworth Crown Court. We have obtained disclosure orders, compelling RipOffReport to provide IP addresses and other identifying information about posters of defamation on RipOffReport, who attempted to ruin our client’s business. Lawyers at our associated office in Arizona were able to obtain the court orders within days of our instructions. 

  • Meet Gary. Gary was a small investor in listed public companies who held shares in a gold mining company RRR PLC. As an active investor, Gary used to be involved in online investment forums such as Interactive Investors.

  • Remove business reviews from HarringayOnlineJurisdiction: United Kingdom

    Pages removed from:

    Date of removal: 8 June 2016

    Number of web pages removed: 1

    Additional information: Our client, a party wall surveyor, was subjected to a campaign of harassment on the internet. The campaign included posting of defamatory comments that intended to harm his business. The posters falsely accused him of being dishonest and this naturally resulted in loss of revenue. The defamatory posts against our client and against his business appeared on the first page of Google search results and this caused him substantial distress. Initially, the website operators of HarringayOnline refused our client's request to remove the defamatory posts but once our defamation lawyers stepped in the matter was successfully resolved to his satisfaction.  

  • Jurisdiction: United States remove defamation from wordpress solicitors

    Pages removed from: WordPress

    Date of removal: 20 May 2016

    Number of pages removed: 1

    Additional information: Our client, a successful dairy farmer became victim of defamation by a disgruntled ex-employee who created a blog on WordPress defaming our client by falsely claiming he was being abused as an employee. The ex-employee commenced legal proceedings against our client in an employment tribunal which in the meantime were dismissed for lack of merits. The ex-employee used the defamatory WordPress blog to try and blackmail our client. He demanded thousands of pounds in return for the deletion of the blog. Our defamation lawyers advised our client not to pay and made him and the ex-employee aware of anti-bribery laws. Our defamation lawyers took swift action to facilitate the removal of the defamatory blog and to quickly stop the reputational damage it was causing our client. . 

  • Remove defamation TAPAJurisdiction: United Kingdom

    Pages removed from:

    Date of removal: 4 July 2016

    Number of web pages removed: 1

    Additional information: is a website dedicated to exposing alleged advertising "scams" in the UK. Our defamation lawyers were instructed that the website includes a list of companies that it says are involved in misleading advertising practices. Our client was operating an advertising agency. Details of the agency were included in The website claimed it received "complaints" about our client's practices. The inclusion of our client on this website had damaged its reputation. The mere inclusion of a company on so called scam websites has negative connotations and is almost automatically considered defamatory. Our defamation lawyers successfully facilitated the removal of information about our client from this website..

  • Company directors often prefer to remove damaging webpages from public sight by using a discrete method to push the derogatory webpages down in the search results of Google.

    This method often results in satisfactory resolution of many of the issues that negative webpages may bring on a company generally and on its sales team in particular.

  • Every organisation needs to carry out reputation risk analysis on a regular basis.

    But at times of online reputation crisis, risk analysis is even more crucial than ever and needs to sit at the heart of the reputation recovery strategy. A reputation recovery strategy that encapsulates continuing reputation risk analysis will typically follow these steps:

  • Defamation solicitor to remove defamation from estateagenttodayJurisdiction: United Kingdom.
    Defamation removed from: EstateAgentToday.

    Date of removal: 29 May 2015.

    Number of web pages removed: 25.

    Additional information: We removed defamatory posts from this UK based website, EstateAgentToday on behalf of a high street law firm. A number of lawyers were defamed on EstateAgentToday by posts and comments in relation to property transactions and the quality of the work and services they allegedly delivered.

    Statements concerning investigations by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority of the law firm were also deleted from this website to the relief of the law firm.   

  • Jurisdiction: United State, California.Remove reviews from google plus solicitor

    Pages removed from: Google Plus.

    Date of removal: 23 July 2015.

    Number of web pages removed: 7.

    Additional information: Our defamation solicitors remove reviews from Google Plus on behalf of our client who is a letting agent and who had had a large number of defamatory reviews posted about his business.    

  • Internet defamation, is becoming more and more a survival issue for a growing number of individuals and organisations across the UK.

    In most cases where we are instructed to remove defamation from the internet, we do so successfully and without putting our clients through expensive litigation. In most cases we can facilitate the removal of defamatory web pages through an affordable, yet persuasive Cease and Desist letter or by negotiations.

    Even if the offending website is located outside the jurisdiction of the English Courts, a well drafted letter might still be sufficient to have the defamatory content removed.

    However, more and more internet service providers such as Google and Bing ask for a court order before they agree to remove defamation from their websites, unless we can point their legal departments to specific breaches of their own terms and conditions of use. 

    In 99% of the cases, Google will remove defamatory webpages upon receipt of a copy of a claim form. This often meets our client's objectives, which means that there is no longer a need to pursue the matter further and at additional costs.

    Read more: Obtaining injunctions against Google

    Case Study:

    Meet Rodney.

    As a busy director of a small company that prides itself in excellent customer care, Rodney was surprised to discover an anonymous blog post on Blogger, which referred to him and to his company as 'fraud' and 'scam'.

    Rodney believed that the blog post was created by a competitor but he was unable to prove this. Rodney wrote to Google several times and asked them to remove the defamatory blog post but he never received a reply.  He then contacted a number of defamation solicitors who advised him that bringing a court action to order Google to remove the blog post will cost him between £15,000 - £20,000, which was his company's entire annual marketing budget.

    Rodney's company was turning just over £500,000 per annum so he now had to make some important financial decisions. Should he invest the entire marketing budget in a court action, which might or might not be successful or perhaps should he use the money to manipulate the search engines so that the defamatory blog be kept away from public view?

    By working with Rodney, we helped him to identify a practical solution to his problem.

    Instead of embarking on a full legal action for defamation, we advised him to apply for a limited court order which told Google to provide information about the identity of the blogger (order known as Norwich Pharmacal Order) at the approximate cost of £2,000. Upon receipt of a copy of the application, Google immediately removed the blog post.

    Rodney's goal of removing the defamatory blog was achieved and at the same time, his action sent a clear message to his competitor that he was being serious about pursuing the identity of those who defame his company.  

  • Review websites are either Industry Specific or Multi Area. They create an image of a service for the public good whilst in fact, they are commercial enterprises, they are not altruistic. Their commodity is YOUR reputation, and it's free of charge. Review websites often claim to have a right to publish without responsibility for content. This claim is false; in many cases operators of review websites are also the publishers and often the editors of the posts and are therefore liable to you for defamation.

  • When was the last time you searched online for information about ‎your own company? If the answer to this question is ‎‎“never” then you are not alone. But you also need to read on…‎

    Many organisations spend little or no time in researching ‎themselves on the internet. This makes sense on the face of ‎it; what could you possibly learn that you don’t already ‎know? ‎But it is precisely this subconscious dismissal of the notion ‎that you could find something out that you don’t already ‎know that enables negative ‘information’ from going ‎undetected for so long and causing so much damage.

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