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Internet call-outs provide no option for defending oneself

Allegations of sexual misconduct are serious and may carry detrimental consequences. In fact, if one is rumored to be a predator, it may not be long before people begin to interpret every move that person makes in light of those accusations. Two Ohio men recently lost their jobs because of a rumor that spread through the internet, and they are likely not the only ones who have been victimized in this way.

The two worked at a popular night club, one as a bar tender and the other in the kitchen. A customer said she was talking with some friends about the two men, and the concern came up that the two prey on drunk women in the bar. The customer, who considers herself a community activist, decided to post a call-out on a Facebook page used to promote bands and local events. In her post, she shared the rumor and urged others to stand with her by boycotting the club.

Within three days, the call-out led to a series of negative reviews about the bar, and the owner fired the two men. Apparently, the men had previously lost jobs in Ohio clubs due to allegations of sexual misconduct. The customer who initiated this internet rumor admits she was aware of the previous unfounded accusations before she made her post.

One man involved in this situation believes call-outs are becoming a common method for people to use free speech to bully and harass others. Neither man has a criminal record, nor was there any evidence beyond rumors of sexual misconduct. Nevertheless, business owners feel their hands are tied, and they must take action to maintain loyal customers. People who find their reputations damaged by internet defamation have the right to legal counsel. An attorney will help them take steps to repair their lives damaged by call-outs.

Source: cincinnati.com, "How an online callout cost 2 OTR bar workers their jobs", Cameron Knight, Jan. 8, 2017

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