Call Today for a FREE Consultation
TF 800-836-1114 PH 440-753-6051
Your Reputation is Important.We Can Help You Protect It. Let's get Started

Handling libel and slander in a small Ohio business

Businesses in Ohio and across the country are finding themselves harassed online more frequently these days. This may come from dissatisfied customers, aggressive competition or disgruntled employees. Company owners may find that their business is damaged by negative reviews or critical posts. While a large corporation may find these defamatory comments merely bothersome, small businesses often cannot afford the hit to their reputations. In those circumstances, a libel and slander claim may be appropriate.

Taking steps to protect the online presence of one's business may help to limit the number of potentially libelous posts one receives. The first step is to manage one's own employee base by establishing social media policies and meeting regularly to reinforce them. This will prevent employees from addressing negative posts without guidance in a potentially contentious manner, perhaps exacerbating the situation.

Having an understanding of the social media accounts one's business uses will enable one to adjust the privacy settings. While this may reduce the amount of public exposure the company gets, it will also allow a business owner to monitor, filter and block those who post libelous comments. Some platforms also have tools that allow one to find and filter comments that contain common harassing keywords.

If, after all one's precautions, a business owner still finds the company to be the victim of an online attack, advisors recommend addressing the messenger directly and politely, either publicly or privately. If direct appeal does not compel the person to remove the comment, one can use privacy settings to block the person. Reporting the person to the social media platform one is using may prevent further negative posts from that person.

If the person still refuses to remove the post or continues posting negative comments, a business owner may turn to a lawyer to pursue removal of the posts. Many in Ohio believe that once a negative comment is online, it cannot be taken down. This is not necessarily true. Lawyers with the right resources can work with those who administer and moderate message boards to have libel and slander removed. Having such advocates on one's side may save the reputation of one's company.

Source: theamericangenius.com, "What to do when your company is harassed or trolled online", Natalie Earhart, Dec. 19, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information