Fighting online defamation in 2021

by PureLocal Australia on Feb 12, 2021 Transportation 411 Views

If you operate a business , online or otherwise then you've probably been reviewed online by a customer. Positive reviews are splendid but unfortunately negative reviews are more common because , let's face it , people are far more motivated to go to the trouble of writing an online review if they're angry. I manage an online business directory and know this fact first hand. What's worse is that the medium on which the review is placed (eg : YELP) cannot truly verify whether it is factual. 

Once the review appears online it is typically permanent and can only be brought down by a few means.

1. File a lawsuit

This is expensive and is typically reserved for large companies who have the bank roll to substantiate this pursuit.

2. Request Google remove the libel / negative review

Google requires a court document stating the libel text is in fact defamatory which brings us back to point number 1 above.

3. Contact the reviewer or platform (eg : YELP , PureLocal)

Though time consuming , this is probably your best bet at removing libel content from the internet. The platform which posted your review most likely has no idea who is telling the truth but will probably work in your favor if you provide the most details. The Joe Schmo sitting at his desks reviewing the facts will read your information and compare it to the short review placed against your business. If your information provided is clear , long and detailed then he or she is more likely to side with you and remove the online libel.

4. Threaten the reviewer

Contacting the website who have published the negative against your business will result in them responding with standard TOC's as to why they won't remove it. If they're a smaller company then they may remove the review if a sufficient fuss is created via email. Companies like TrustPilot however will not respond to these tactics.

5. Encourage your positive customers to leave a review on the same platform.

You may have received one negative and fake review on TrustPilot , YELP or other. It's not the end of the world if you can contact your positive customers "en masse" and have them leave positive reviews on the same platform. Having 90% positive reviews sprinkled with negative ones can actually be better than having all positive reviews as it will appear to be more authentic.

6. Change company names

I would not recommend changing your company name because it has been sullied in Google search results. Spend time , or alot of time , fixing your brand name unless it is very newly created and not worth saving its already accumulated trust.

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