When is Cyber Law going to protect the wrongly accused?

Media Division | March 4, 2013

What kind of world do we live in where the 1st Amendment, Human Rights, Right of Speech and Journalistic Ethics are able to be abused against the average man? We complain about facebook privacy, get upset when an email or account is leaked by hackers, but what about the average Joe attacking you in an open forum?

The internet doesn’t get any more open than it is. If anyone utters your name, your information is available to 4 billion internet users.

The politics

The basic problem here is that once you start to regulate content, it goes out of control. If a consumer or advocate cannot speak his mind, you then have a population without a voice again. So here we get into the same old round robin problem.

Internet Privacy Commission

This is just an idea. Should a foundation be setup where the wrongly accused are able to submit their “case”, then we could have a system where matters of slander, defamation on attacks on brands can be resolved.

Currently, there is a 5% success rate on getting articles, comments and slander removed through these 3 steps:

  • Contact the source of the defamation
  • Contacting the webmaster or host of the defamation
  • Going legal

To date, websites like RipoffReport.com and ComplaintsBoard.com host close to a million complaints and negative reviews. The problem with these websites (unlike Google Reviews, Yell and Yelp), is that the reviews submitted are ONLY allowed to be negative. These already creates an imbalance and leans towards the suffering of businesses and people.

Massive does not protest or negate that there are many valid negative reviews or articles out there. But you always have to be permitted recourse – anything else is injustice.

A recent example

One of our clients had a franchise across the Eastern United States. The franchise changed management, and the new (and improved) management team decided to upgrade all shop locations. This meant they had to put their existing stores into temporary locations which were not as swanky.

The result? A slew of moaners complaining on the dropped quality of the stores, all over these biased websites (Ripoff and ComplaintsBoard).

Within a few months the client had moved all stores back to their new locations and the reviews stopped. But —- the moaner’s content was still online, and stayed there.

Perfect example of a brand who needs reputation management, but also a good example of where Cyber Law could be improved for the protection of such a brand.

Let us know your story

We would love to here your story about online defamation and whether or not you were able to resolve it. Leave it in the comments below.

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