HopLite Online Reputation Management

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Find the Answers to Common Questions...

When it comes to dealing with ORM, everyone always has questions; usually very good ones -- we have answers. That's why we've created a list of the most common things people ask about and made it available here. So you may be surprised you might find out what you're looking for without having to go very far. Feel free to browse below. These are just a small number of the ways we can help at HopLite when ORM problems strike.

What is Libel?

Libel is another part of defamation law. It is distinguished from Slander in that the statements must be written rather than spoken. Libel is generally considered more damaging since the statements are in print (or on the internet). They are thus usually longer lasting than spoken utterances and therefore are generally thought capable of much more harm. Like Slander, Libel is a civil (or tort) matter and not dealt with in criminal court.

Most negative things written on the internet do not qualify as Libel because for that to occur, the statement cannot be an opinion, it has to be something that can be clearly shown to be objectively false. For example, as a business matter, if there was a company that manufactured smartphones, and someone wrote that -- “This product is the most terrible piece of technology I’ve ever bought,” the statement is not considered Libel because it is an opinion. However, if they were to say, “This product is the most terrible piece of technology I’ve ever bought; their internet browser doesn’t even have the ability to read and load HTML web pages!” The second part of the statement might be considered Libelous if in fact it can be shown that units coming out of the factory were equipped with a web browser capable of reading and loading webpages as such.

Libel is also a big issue for Online Reputation Management when it comes to newspapers and the articles they publish. For example, let’s say that a person (let’s call them “Ted”), was accused of a DUI many years ago, but it was later conclusively proven that Ted did not commit a DUI, and he was accused wrongly. In our hypothetical case, a local newspaper, called the “Afternoon Standard” wrote at the time in their crimes section that Ted was accused of the crime, and now their article is appearing on Google many years later. It is not Libelous because they only wrote he was accused, and there is no legal remedy of any kind in that instance. However, let us say they wrote that he was accused of a DUI and a burglary, but he was never in fact never accused of the second infraction at all, then a legal remedy would have to be at least considered.

Both Libel and Slander are difficult to prove, and most Online Reputation Management dilemmas are not solvable using them as legal means since most negative posts on the internet are statements of opinion, and most newspaper articles tend to be objectively correct (as well as other problems that go along with using defamation law). However, there are in fact cases which do qualify as Libel, such as if a newspaper stated something incorrectly (for example) and for them, a lawyer should be contacted immediately. Here at HopLite, we’re happy to work with legal professionals when needed in regards to Reputation Management problems. But even if a legal solution isn’t possible, and the statement in question doesn’t qualify as Libelous, we can still absolutely take care of the problem and get rid of it anyway using specific and targeted ORM Campaigns. In fact, though we absolutely support legal remedies where indicated, internet-based methods 90% of the time even more effective! Don’t wait, contact us and find out what we can do for you!

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