Every situation is different so by far the best way to find out how to respond to a social media legal issue is to speak to those who are most likely to have dealt with a situation similar to yours.
To find out how you can improve your reputation on the internet simply select one of the easy methods of contacting us.
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During a crisis you may receive conflicting advice as to the most appropriate response. It is vital to carry out a risk assessment in relation to each choice of action or inaction, bearing in mind that action taken on the internet can often be irreversible.
Broadly speaking, there are three core solutions to reputation issues that arise out of internet publications:
Solution 1: Using legal provisions and tools to remove damaging webpages: Consider any short and long term implications on the organisation's reputation. How would legal action impact your organisation's marketing strategies?
Solution 2: The use of various Search Engine Optimisation tools/techniques to remove unwanted internet pages from public view: Consider what sort of material should be posted on the internet to "push down" bad, negative results. How would the new material integrate with the rest of your organisation's marketing strategies?
Solution 3: Enhancing corporate transparency: Consider the legal aspects of your organisation accepting responsibility for complaints stimulated by transparency on the internet.
How would the organisations' other customers view admissions and acceptances of responsibility?
You can count on us to add real value whilst helping your organisation formulate appropriate responses to online reviews, to malicious blog posts and to dedicated hate websites.
We help you make the internet a safer place for your company.
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The most significant concern for company executives today is over reputational risk. Many feel that they have increasingly less control over public perception particularly due to the growing power of social media. Understanding why, how and when social media becomes a decisive factor in consumers’ purchasing decision helps company executives better identify and manage reputational risks to the brand or product or to them personally.
We provide various courses and presentations dedicated to company executives in different sectors. How much does a company director need to know about social media and internet law? The answer is ‘as much as possible’.
This is why many executive directors make it their business to investigate, learn and understand social media and internet law. Good understanding will help you approach the challenges the internet presents from a position of leadership and control.
Most company directors are likely in the future to ask themselves questions such as:
What errors should I avoid when interacting with customers on social media?
Should social media have an impact on my day to day decisions?
How can we risk manage social media?
Is it wise to allow employees to blog and tweet about our company?
How can we identify, as early as possible, signs of online reputation crisis?
Why do I find professional advice on social media and internet law so confusing?
Who should we listen to; our PR consultants? Our marketing agency?
Or perhaps our legal advisor? And what are the long term implications of each choice that we make?
As an unexpected online reputation crisis can devastate the financial stability of a company, some lenders, investors and other stakeholders are already asking organisations to undertake ‘online reputation risk management’ exercises as part of the usual assessment of the financial stability of the organisation. We can help you understand social media and internet law to put you in the driving seat.
We offer a variety of learning platforms on social media and internet law for company executives including board meetings, presentations, one on one private learning sessions and half and full day workshops. To find out more how Cohen Davis can provide tailored made social media and online reputation management training to your executives contact us here.
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Internet law legal advice
Good reputation is what will distinguish the successful from the rest but as success grows, so is the risk of coming across people and organisations that will make it their mission in life to tarnish and ruin your good reputation.
Internet Law Centre's My Reputation Alarm provides you with full monitoring, identification, analyses and alert against those who are wishing to harm your online reputation for whatever reason. My Reputation Alarm monitors any mention of you or your company throughout the internet, including:
And many more….
Whenever negative or defamatory information is found which relates to you or your business, My Reputation Alarm alerts you to the issues and facilitate the removal of such information in no time.
With My Reputation Alarm ’s experienced and professional reputation analysts system and with our legal team on hand, we deal with new situations as they happen, and in real time, to bring normality back to your life and/or to your business.
To find out more. Call our reputation centre now and ask about My Reputation Alarm
Call now on
0207 183 4 123
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With legal action we can make web pages completely disappear. But internet law, perhaps more than any other area of law, requires you to take into consideration many different matters before you decide to proceed with legal action.
For defamation, particularly online defamation, you need to consider not only the short-term benefits for your organisation, but also the long-term consequences for your reputation - on publicity and marketing decisions particularly to do with your online marketing machine.
Often, in the internet age, taking legal action for defamation or for breach of privacy is not the most sustainable way to protect your personal or your organisation's reputation. To put it bluntly, you may win your legal action in court, but lose your reputation at the same time. It is important to remember that with internet law, strategic thinking is often more effective than anything else including court orders and that before starting legal proceedings, particularly for defamation you need to consider, together with your solicitor the likelihood of success and try to foresee the PR consequences of a successful and unsuccessful legal proceedings.
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Many "webpage removal specialists" offer to remove bad pages from the search results by using search engine optimisation (SEO).
It is a series of techniques that companies use to try and make their websites appear on the first pages of internet search results.
It is largely a promotional tool which, if used knowledgeably, can bring almost any business tons of success. SEO is a good medicine to cure marketing problems. But when it comes to a bad and rapidly spreading case of infectious defamation, SEO might be less effective.
Remember that SEO is a preventative tool. It does not "remove" or "delete" bad search results but only temporarily pushes them down the search results.
If the information that you wish to remove from the internet is of personal nature, exercising your European right to be forgotten might be the best option for you. You can use the right to be forgotten to not only remove unwanted search results from Google and other search engines but also to have information about you deleted completely from the publishing website.
If the information that you want deleted from the internet is of commercial nature, then you can still use the right to be forgotten but only in limited circumstances.
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Internet defamation, is becoming more and more a survival issue for a growing number of individuals and organisations across the UK.
In most cases where we are instructed to remove defamation from the internet, we do so successfully and without putting our clients through expensive litigation. In most cases we can facilitate the removal of defamatory web pages through an affordable, yet persuasive Cease and Desist letter or by negotiations.
Even if the offending website is located outside the jurisdiction of the English Courts, a well drafted letter might still be sufficient to have the defamatory content removed.
However, more and more internet service providers such as Google and Bing ask for a court order before they agree to remove defamation from their websites, unless we can point their legal departments to specific breaches of their own terms and conditions of use.
In 99% of the cases, Google will remove defamatory webpages upon receipt of a copy of a claim form. This often meets our client's objectives, which means that there is no longer a need to pursue the matter further and at additional costs.
Read more: Obtaining injunctions against Google
As a busy director of a small company that prides itself in excellent customer care, Rodney was surprised to discover an anonymous blog post on Blogger, which referred to him and to his company as 'fraud' and 'scam'.
Rodney believed that the blog post was created by a competitor but he was unable to prove this. Rodney wrote to Google several times and asked them to remove the defamatory blog post but he never received a reply. He then contacted a number of defamation solicitors who advised him that bringing a court action to order Google to remove the blog post will cost him between £15,000 - £20,000, which was his company's entire annual marketing budget.
Rodney's company was turning just over £500,000 per annum so he now had to make some important financial decisions. Should he invest the entire marketing budget in a court action, which might or might not be successful or perhaps should he use the money to manipulate the search engines so that the defamatory blog be kept away from public view?
By working with Rodney, we helped him to identify a practical solution to his problem.
Instead of embarking on a full legal action for defamation, we advised him to apply for a limited court order which told Google to provide information about the identity of the blogger (order known as Norwich Pharmacal Order) at the approximate cost of £2,000. Upon receipt of a copy of the application, Google immediately removed the blog post.
Rodney's goal of removing the defamatory blog was achieved and at the same time, his action sent a clear message to his competitor that he was being serious about pursuing the identity of those who defame his company.
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