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How do I get a defamatory website taken down?

Greenwich, CT |

The police said "freedom of speech", but the website contains some pretty outrageous statements eg. "fired from embezzling" which is utterly untrue. As I as laid off when my firm closed the office (and never handled money), it is interfering in my employment prospects. I did a DMCA takedown on the photos and I went to court and got a non-disparagement agreement via email from him the night before the civil injunction was argued... but it came right back up (and not just as cached, but indexed with heavy SEO in all the search engines). The cyberstalker has no known address to serve him at (I emailed and mailed the injunction application to his UPS address) and appears to be doing it for my ex-husband - but I have no proof. He's also been mass emailing every company I was ever involved with

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Do you know the state in which the individual who is doing the postings and mass emails resides? Did you have an attorney represent you in the court action to which you refer in which you were seeking a civil injunction, or did you represent yourself?

This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not create an attorney-client relationship, and is not to be relied upon as legal advice or applied to specific situations. Legal advice is provided only upon execution of a written retainer agreement and after a comprehensive consultation in which all relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.

Posted

If you went to court, I presume that you retained counsel. If so, your counsel should be taking additional steps to enforce the injunction (if you receive an injunction), or to get a new injunction if you did not get one. If you have not yet retained legal counsel, you should do so immediately.

Unfortunately, it is in the nature of the internet that it can be difficult to find the person or company responsible for defamatory or incorrect publications. Search engines and internet service providers that provide platforms for such statements are generally immune from liability. You need to find and track down the person or company responsible for these defamatory remarks. Sometimes that requires not only retaining legal counsel, but hiring a private investigator with expertise in computer forensic investigations. I recently was retained to handle a situation similar to this, and the client had to face very difficult choices between the significant costs required to investigate and pursue the responsible parties, and the damage that the defamatory information is causing. However, in most cases with enough resources, a lawyer and investigator can track down the responsible person and take effective action to at least get him to stop making such comments. Even so, it is often impossible to remove defamatory comments from every place that they have appeared or are stored on the internet. One of the worst things about the digital age is that every word you say, text or write can be uncovered---in a real sense we have lost significant components of our privacy rights merely because of the nature of the internet and digital communications.

Posted

As Mr. Ross has answered, you are going to need a lawyer and possibly an investigator. You need to balance these costs with the harm that is being done to your reputation to decide how to proceed.

This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.

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