My boyfriends ex has posted my picture, my full name and complete lies about me on a website which comes up when you google search my name. This person took my picture from another social site and posted it to shesahomewrecker.com along with complete lies which were very derogatory and could hurt me if I were looking for employment as some companies will google search an applicant. Is there any legal action I can take? Most of these sites refuse removal, even after requesting removal by email. I believe what this person said could be very detrimental to my career.
Contracts / Agreements Lawyer
In most cases the websites have no obligation to remove these postings, although they may have an obligation to remove your picture (if you hold the copyright to that picture). If you know that your boyfriend's ex is the one posting this information, your best recourse is to demand that she remove them herself. Whether or not her postings constitute defamation is a legal question, so I would suggest you contact an attorney to review your situation in more detail.
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Did you take the picture? If so, you own the copyright and you can send a DMCA notice to the site. You could also send the notice to Google and ask them to delist the search (tell the site you are doing this, they will not like that and it could make them take your picture off quicker.)
If this does not work, you will need to hire a lawyer. I often say as cocktail chatter that there is no gravity on the Internet, what goes up does not come down.
That having been said, I have worked for dozens of clients to get information removed or search engine de-listed. I would say the success rate for these kinds of actions among Internet attorneys is around 70% and that the cost is from $1,000 to $1,500. It all depends on the circumstances.
If you know who the poster is, another avenue many clients take is to have a lawyer write a cease and desist letter to the person. While a cease and desist letter has little legal effect, it will tell the poster he could get in legal hot water which will cost him a lot of legal fees if nothing else.
You may want to discuss your situation with a lawyer in more detail. Most lawyers on Avvo, including myself, offer a free phone consultation
Andrew M. Jaffe
Attorney at Law
Practice Limited to E-Commerce and Internet Law
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.