Social media, emails and phone apps are now the default method of communication for most people.
But the power and reach of social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, can lead to an individual’s reputation being badly damaged at the click of a button. Often malicious comments can stay online permanently. Internet giants, such as Google, can and do bring up these posts when an individual’s name is searched. As well as being a search engine, Google provides the framework for blogs which can also be defamatory.
The good news, however, is that the law surrounding the internet and online communication is changing fast. For example, there is now a new right to erasure, also known as ‘the right to be forgotten.’ Broadly speaking, this enables an individual to request the deletion or removal of personal data when there is no compelling reason for its continued processing. This means that individuals could have links to articles about them deleted from search engines such as Google. This is a big boost for privacy campaigners.
Another recent change is that where defamatory comments are posted anonymously, it may be possible to bring an action against the operator of the website, internet service providers, search engines or social media platforms.
All of these matters can be dealt with by our expert internet lawyers.
While instant communication is welcome, the internet also provides a platform where a company’s reputation can be severely compromised. Comparison sites and others that rate businesses are often a forum for competitors or mischief makers to attack quality. Some businesses suffer libellous comments about their services which can reach numerous people in an instant and have a profound effect on their popularity, causing serious financial loss.
Businesses are particularly vulnerable to these attacks as people now habitually read reviews before trying something new or employing someone to do some work. We have acted for a range of large and small firms who have all suffered libellous comments about the quality of their services.
Our solicitors are experts at handling these matters and can quickly and effectively deal with perpetrators and get comments removed, even if they are anonymous.
Social media sites are now everywhere. They are on our computers, tablets and phones. The internet is now central to our daily lives, but irresponsible use can have a devastating effect on others. The reach of online communication and media means that defamatory and private information can be shared around the world in seconds.
In relation to individual reputations, we have all read about cases where celebrities and members of the public have discovered humiliating photographs of themselves online or emails that have gone viral. Some have been shamed by intimate photographs posted in revenge by former partners or others. Individuals have also found themselves targeted and abused on social media hubs. The anonymity afforded by these sites are loved by trolls who take delight in abusing individuals who are outspoken, high profile or who campaign for things they don’t approve of. In extreme cases, these trolls have issued death threats and advocated serious violence against others who they haven’t even met.
Taylor Hampton has dealt with numerous cases of internet abuse, using various methods to get material taken down from online sites and to tackle the perpetrators. In many cases we can force apologies and damages.
Our internet solicitors can advise on a wide range of online issues and services, including removing defamatory reviews and comments about businesses, suing in respect of emails and online posts which attack individuals, acting where privacy has been violated and assisting with the right to be forgotten.