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What to Do About Anonymous Libel?

By John DiGiacomo

Libel is a form of defamation involving written statements that are false and injurious. Anonymous libel has become an enormous problem since the rise of the internet. The internet allows nearly anyone to anonymously post false and libelous statements about a person or a business. When this happens, a person or business may suffer substantial impairment to their reputation and their finances.

Legally, it is possible to bring a lawsuit against someone or some business if they have committed libel against you. These are generally called defamation lawsuits. If you have been the victim of internet defamation, call us here at Revision Legal. If you have been searching for a “defamation lawyer near me,” we are your go-to experienced internet defamation Law Firm. Hiring talented internet defamation attorneys is particularly important when the libel is made anonymously. We can ensure that there are anonymous internet defamation consequences. We are also social media defamation lawyers. Here is a summary of what can be done about anonymous internet defamation.

Finding the Culprit

The first task concerning anonymous libel is to file a lawsuit as a means of identifying the culprit or culprits. This involves a detail-oriented method of seeking information from the owner of the website where the libel was originally posted. It may also involve seeking information from internet service providers. Legally, this is called the process of “discovery.” Once a lawsuit is filed — it is filed against a “John or Jane Doe” — the courts will allow the person suing to engage in discovery to gain information about the identity of the person committing the libel. There is general legal protection for those wishing to post on the internet without identifying themselves. But that legal right is diminished when unlawful behavior is involved.

Once the culprits are identified, then they can be brought under the jurisdiction of the court, the case name can be changed and your rights can be vindicated. Money judgments can be obtained and, most importantly, the court can order the libelous content to be removed from the internet.

How Long Does it Take to Get Libelous Content Removed?

Often, once the culprit is identified and brought into the lawsuit, the culprit will settle by agreeing to remove the libelous content. Sometimes, that is sufficient for the person suing. Other times, there have been significant injuries to a person’s reputation or a company’s sales and revenue. Even if the lawsuit cannot be settled because there are significant damages, it is possible to seek an Order from the judge requiring the removal of the content while the defamation litigation proceeds.

What Has to be Proven?

Generally, to be successful, a person suing for internet libel must prove the following legal elements:

  • False statement made
  • Knowledge that the statement was false or that the statement was made with reckless disregard for the truth
  • Publication of the false statement
  • Damages or injury — such as injury to reputation, loss of earnings, etc.

Contact Revision Legal If you need an experienced team of internet defamation attorneys, call Revision Legal at 231-714-0100. We are internet and social media influence attorneys with proven experience with IP protection, contract law, and complex litigation. We are lawyers specializing in internet law.

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