Remove defamation from Google
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How can you remove defamation from Google
Is it possible to remove defamatory web pages from Google where others have already given up on the task? Good question. So many of our clients ask us whether it is possible to remove defamatory web pages from Google searches after either they try themselves or their lawyers have attempted to do so unsuccessfully. The answer is yes, it is often possible to remove defamation from Google and there are various methods available for you for doing so. To remove defamatory content from Google, consider the following methods.
The first method, is to approach the website operator where the defamatory comments about you are posted. This method might seem obvious, but it could possibly have a new dimension when carried out by somebody else on your behalf. We have dealt with countless number of cases where our clients either requested website operators to remove defamatory comments from their website but were ignored or refused, and with cases where our clients thought it was not worthwhile to even approach the website operator. In both cases, it often turns out to be wise to give another chance to communication attempts by way of a solicitor. An approach deployed by a solicitor to a website operator could often result with the operator either deleting the defamatory posts or at least agreeing to exclude the post from Google searches.
This would involve asking the website operator to insert a short code to the webpage, which will tell Google to not index it. In many other cases, website operators are inclined to delete defamatory content from their website, if approached by a lawyer. This will result eventually with the defamatory content also being removed from Google. An approach by the lawyer to the website operator to remove defamatory posts, does not necessarily need to be threatening or intimidating. It could, instead, be polite and educational by creating an environment where the website operator agreed to remove the defamatory posts on their own accord. Of course, an approach to a website operator can also seem hopeless and intimidating but the method your lawyer could use to approach each case, would depend on the circumstances of your case, on how much patience you have. Sucess will also depend on the communication of your lawyer in order to facilitate your main objectives.
The second method of removing defamatory content from Google searches is to ask Google to delist the offending searches. Google is likely at first to give you standard reply, that you should take the matter up with the website operator (see first approach) and leave it alone to run defamatory searches results as much as it wants to. Again, you shouldn’t be disheartened by this reply. People from Google, often don’t like to remove things from internet searches, unless those things you want them to remove bother them personally. For example, they might feel that your political preaching online isn't particularly conducive to the way they believe their world should look like. Therefore so to 'protect' everyone form bad feelings, they might demote your post to page 110 of the Google searches or completely delist it entirely. This reality may be viewed as being quite untoward by some and unfair.
However, if all that a search result does is to defame you, your family, your or your business, then that’s free speech and as far as Google is concerned this conent can stay online forever. There are only two exceptions to this. The first, is if you can prove that a defamatory post is illegal or unlawful by presenting Google with a court order, and the second, if you have a lawyer who can prove to Google that although there isn't a court order in place yet to prove that the defamatory post is unlawful, one is likely to be applied for imminently, unless Google takes steps to remove links to the defamatory post. A good lawyer should be able to help you with both.
The third method to remove defamation from Google is to have the entire web page or even the entire website, which has posted the defamation, blocked from being accessed by people in some parts of the world. There are two ways of achieving this. The first, is to convince at a judge that the webpage is so highly defamatory and damaging that the judge will grant a blocking injunction which will effectively compel internet service providers to block access to the website from every computer that is using their broadband or data services.
This type of court order is very hard to get, and indeed there are no known successful cases in the UK where this type of court order was granted to anyone just for because they wanted to remove defamation from Google. The second way to achieve this, which is far more likely to bear fruit, is to convince the website operator where the defamation is posted, that it is a bad idea to have their website accessed to from the UK due to draconian defamation and GDPR laws so to save the hassle, they should just put a few codes onto the site that will effectively block access to it from the UK. This should pretty much solve your problem (see for example the website RipOffReport.com). Google will not automatically remove links to the defamatory posts, but after the website is blocked in the UK, your lawyer should speak to Google people and inform them of the news. They will be able to take manual action to remove links to the defamation from Google searches as well.