Got a Ripoff Report defamation problem? This primer breaks down the basic legalities of Internet defamation, specifically as it relates to online review websites. If you’ve been maligned online and you’re ready to take action, go here. If you just want a basic overview of Ripoff Report defamation, keep reading.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act Means You Can’t Sue Ripoff Report For Defamation, But You Can Sue The Person Who Left The Review
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) provides website owners immunity for defamatory content posted by third parties. Lawmakers passed the statute because, simply stated, holding websites liable for users’ actions would have meant the death of the Internet. The legal risk would have been insurmountable.
And even though Section 230 went a long way in making the Internet what it is today, it also creates a headache for some small- and medium-sized business owners.
The Inequality of Ripoff Report Defamation: Posters Can Malign For Free, Businesses Must Pay For Arbitration
The most curious aspect of RipOffReport (from the prospective of small business owners) is that anonymous posters can publish complaints for free, but the RipOffReport system sometimes requires business to pay an arbitration fee if they want to address a negative review on the site.
Now, many businesses will simply pay the RipOffReport fee and call it a day. But, if you are someone who doesn’t want to pay to maintain RipOffReport’s business, you may wish to seek alternative methods of getting defamatory material removed from search engine results. Besides, by filing a defamation lawsuit, it’s always possible that your opponent will be forced to pay your legal fees and you won’t have to spend your own money.
Get Defamatory Ripoff Report Page Removed From Search Engines
If you want to remove RipOffReport results about your business from search engines, Google is probably the best place to start.
Google usually doesn’t respond to individual letter claims of defamation. It will, however, honor court orders against third parties. Here are the steps you can take to remove defamatory RipOffReport.com listings:
- Determine whether a posted comment on RipOffReport is defamatory. It can’t just be a comment you don’t like — it has to be a false statement of fact.
- Make a list of the exact RipOffReport URLs where defamatory comments are posted.
- If you don’t know the real name of the defaming reviewer, file a lawsuit alleging defamation against a “John Doe” defendant.
- Via a motion, request judge to order a subpoena compelling RipOffReport to hand over information that could help track down the anonymous defendant.
- Amend the lawsuit to replace “John Doe” with the real name of the defendant and serve the defendant with the lawsuit.
- In addition to seeking monetary damages, seek a court order which declares each specific defamatory URL as “unlawful” and compels the defendant to have the content removed.
- Submit that court order through Google’s court order submission form.
- Wait for Google to remove the content.
Google’s policy on online defamation is this:
If you submit a court order against a third party (the defaming defendant), which declares specific webpages to be unlawful, Google will de-index those URLs from its search engine. This means that even though RipOffReport.com does not have to remove the actual pages, nobody is going to be able to find them if it’s not in the most-used search engine in the world.
Speak With A Ripoff Report Defamation Lawyer
Every online defamation suit is different. Kelly / Warner Law and RipOffReport are both located in Arizona, and our firm successfully handles these types of defamation cases for businesses all over the country. Get in touch today if you have an Internet libel problem you need solved.