Word-of-mouth advertising still drives lots of business, even as more and more people do their speaking online. However, when someone disparages your business on social media, their words can do far more damage because they can last forever. If their claims amount to libel and internet defamation, though, they can be challenged and removed.
The lawyers at the Katz Law Group strive to help you protect your business from defamatory conduct on the internet.
The Double-Edged Sword of Social Media for Marketing Your Business
Social media has become an essential tool for many businesses to market themselves. There are plenty of social media sites that let business create pages and allow other individuals to post content. Some of the most popular are:
Each one of these sites provides a unique opportunity for a business to show why customers should come to their store or buy their services. Some companies and brands have used social media platforms to amass huge followings and interact with customers in ways that were not possible, even a decade ago.
However, that interaction is a two-way street. Dissatisfied customers, people with a grudge against a particular business, or even competing businesses can use social media to spread rumors and unsubstantiated opinions about a company, often in the comments section of the business' own posts. Because social media sites are built to let users post their own content, these disparaging comments are not vetted: They can be outright lies and still be published, read, and shared.
Removing Content from Social Media Sites is Tricky
One of the hallmarks of nearly all social media platforms is that anyone can create an account and a profile through which they post content. Those profiles, though, provide a layer of anonymity for the user. Breaking that shield of anonymity can be difficult on some sites, especially those that value the purported privacy of their userbase over the legitimate concerns of businesses who are trying to stamp out incorrect information about their products and services.
Holding the social media platform accountable for the libelous content that has been posted on its site is difficult, too. Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act protects social media companies from liability for content posted by their users.
Protecting Your Brand, Both Inside and Outside the Courtroom
While defamatory content that has been posted on social media presents legal obstacles for its removal, that does not mean that it cannot be done.
The internet defamation lawyers at the Katz Law Group have found ways of discovering the true identity of social media users who have posted libelous content from their online profiles. There are also exceptions to the legal protections that many social media companies have when it comes to their users' content and defamatory posts.
In many cases, the inaccurate and defamatory content can be removed with a thorough investigation and a cease and desist letter. In some cases, though, a lawsuit is necessary to prove that the content:
- Presented a false statement as fact,
- Was at least negligently published, and
- Caused your business damage or harm, including financially.
Pursuing these legal actions can be necessary to protect your company's brand.
Massachusetts Internet Defamation Attorneys at the Katz Law Group
Acting quickly after discovering defamatory statements about your business on social media is essential. Leaving them up can continue to cause harm over the long term.
Call the Katz Law Group at (508) 480-8202 or contact them online.