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Is Your Business a Victim of Online Review Defamation? Here Are Ways to Go About It

As more businesses find themselves listed on online review websites, claims of online review defamation are increasingly prevalent. However, for a lawsuit to be successful, several conditions must be met.

Online Review Defamation Is a Growing Issue

The world has become a more connected place, and now one can decide whether to purchase a product or service based on online reviews from the comfort of their home. Despite the positive nature of online reviews, they can sometimes prove detrimental to a business.

 

What Constitutes a Defamation Review Online Case?

Online reviews are meant to create a good reputation and foster strong company-client relationships. However, the major problem with online reviews is that they open the door for defamation. When this occurs, businesses may struggle to bounce back from the incident. 

Businesses with bad reviews may be more susceptible to losing clients, both present and prospective. For this reason, a business that feels a negative online review is false has the right to sue the reviewer with the help of an excellent online review defamation lawyer.

How to Deal with Online Defamation

It’s important to understand that there is a difference between bad reviews and defamatory reviews. This difference forms the basis of a viable defamation claim following an online review.

 

Can Negative Online Reviews Lead to Claims for Defamation?

Bad reviews are simply the online reviews issued by an actual customer due to a poor experience with your service or product. On the other side, defamatory reviews are online reviews that damage your reputation and that of your business. When this type of review occurs, the business owner can typically sue for libel, the written form of defamation. 

An online review can constitute defamation if the reviewer lies about being a consumer or a business client. It may also constitute defamation if the person is also lying about their experience, even if they did patronize the business.

When Can an Online Review Constitute Defamation? 

It’s important to understand that there is a difference between bad reviews and defamatory reviews. This difference forms the basis of a viable defamation claim following an online review.

 

Can Negative Online Reviews Lead to Claims for Defamation?

Bad reviews are simply the online reviews issued by an actual customer due to a poor experience with your service or product. On the other side, defamatory reviews are online reviews that damage your reputation and that of your business. When this type of review occurs, the business owner can typically sue for libel, the written form of defamation. 

An online review can constitute defamation if the reviewer lies about being a consumer or a business client. It may also constitute defamation if the person is also lying about their experience, even if they did patronize the business.

Taking Legal Action Against Defamatory Online Reviews

Businesses need to be aware of the legal actions available to them when a false negative review is published against their business. The actions you take after the publishing of a negative review are crucial to protect your reputation and recover any compensation you are owed.

 

Legal Guide to Online Reviews and Defamation for Businesses

Here is a step-by-step guide to what you should do once you see the false statement.

 

Respond to the Negative Online Review

The false review needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Responding to the defamatory statement on the online review platform shows you are committed to improving your customer service.

You can also respond to the defamatory review by contacting the accountable person and posting false statements. It is mainly done through a demand letter outlining your position on the defamatory online review and why it is false.

In most cases, a demand letter will impose a deadline for removing the review. It further informs the reviewer that if they do not comply with this within the specified time, it may lead to a defamation lawsuit.

You can choose to send the demand letter yourself, but it is highly advisable to hire an attorney to do this for you. Having an attorney by your side will make the demands look more serious compared to you doing it all by yourself. Moreover, demand letters sent by lawyers are found to be more successful.

 

File a Defamation Claim

The next step is litigation if the reviewer has not yet pulled down their false reviews from the review platform by the expected deadline. There are primarily two ways in which you can deal with this:

  • Applying for an order requiring the reviewer to remove the negative review from the review platforms
  • Filing a civil defamation claim against the person

The above ways ask the court to order the removal of the negative reviews. The difference between the two is that when you file a defamation claim, you work with the court to ask the perpetrator to award you the damages caused by these negative reviews.

The Value of an Attorney in Defending Against Defamatory Online Reviews

Here are some of the primary reasons as to why you need an attorney for online review defamation:

 

They Are Tech Savvy

Experienced internet defamation attorneys are always up-to-date with the latest technologies, web monitoring services, and investigation tools, which are very important in unmasking anonymous online trolls and protecting any fleeting evidence. Since most defamation cases primarily occur on third-party sites, online defamation attorneys can navigate such websites by working closely with website administrators and third-party arbitration firms.

 

They Understand Online Extortion

Defamation attorneys not only deal with cyber-threats but also cases of extortion. Most defamatory posts aiming at businesses are also being extorted online. Hiring a social media attorney versed in all sorts of internet attacks, including online extortion, is very important since they will track down the extortioners.

 

They Are Experts in Content Removal

Online defamation attorneys dealing with such issues know when to handle a situation secretly to remove the possibility of any more unwanted content. They can help you to discretely remove such content when the reviewer who has been issued with a cease and desist letter has refused to pull down their comments.

They Are Sympathetic Advocates

Defamation lawyers have witnessed countless people and businesses get affected by negative reviews online. So, they know what you must be going through, and it is through this sympathy that motivates them to help you, no matter the case, to regain your identity and mitigate the impacts of the false negative reviews.

 

Why You Need an Attorney for Online Review Defamation

Navigating your business in this online world full of different personalities is not easy. If you need help to deal with a defamatory review, the internet defamation attorneys at Mullen Law Firm are here to help you pursue legal action against the reviewer.

We offer a free consultation because we are here to help your business restore its reputation despite any resulting financial difficulties you are facing. We work diligently to build long-lasting relationships with all esteemed clients in New Jersey and New York. Contact us today to get started.

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