Removing fake reviews of your small business online is a tricky business and going at it alone, it often seems impossible to see results. Fortunately, with a good defamation attorney on your side, the task isn’t as impossible as it may seem.
Removing Fake Reviews of Your Small Business Online
As a small business owner, the ability of customers to leave honest reviews of your business online can be a great way to boost your appeal to potential customers and clients. Unfortunately, due to the nature of online review sites, it can be equally as detrimental to your business to have others leave reviews, particularly when those reviews are false and mal-intentioned. The problem is, however, that reporting these types of reviews and requesting their removal rarely, if ever, yields results because these sites are dedicated to “honest, uncensored reviews”. While you know that a review left about your business is false and malicious, for all the review site knows, you could be a terrible business deserving of a negative review! So what can you do when it comes to removing fake reviews of your small business online?
Removing Fake Reviews of Your Small Business Online: Why You Need a Defamation Attorney
Requesting the removal of fake reviews of your small business online is rarely successful. This is frustrating not only because these types of reviews can negatively impact your business, but because they can also be used as leverage by unscrupulous competitors looking to tap into your customer base.
So how can a defamation attorney help?
Often, just the fact that an attorney is requesting removal of a defamatory review is enough to prompt action from a review website, but in the event that it is not, here is how an attorney can help you with removing fake reviews of your small business online.
Hiring a Defamation Attorney Can Help with Removing Fake Reviews Online
A defamation attorney can work with online review websites to prompt fake review removal by requesting their removal under the framework of the American legal system. This type of request not only outlines why the fake review is defamatory but also how that review breaks the strict terms of service set out by the website themselves, for example, Google Business.
Legitimate Reasons for Fake Review Removal Requests
In an ideal world, simply knowing that a review is fake would be enough to get that review removed, however, in an age of digital freedom and protected speech, many times a more specific removal request must be made. Your defamation attorney can help you to make this type of request and may cite a range of legitimate removal reasons which may include:
- Reviews that advertise a competing business while defaming the actual business being reviewed.
- Reviews that are not specifically about the location in mind or that stray off topic and are used to promote personal agendas.
- Reviews that use abusive or profane language.
- Reviews where an individual has been compensated for their review or otherwise has another conflict of interest when posting their review.
- Reviews where the individual posting is impersonating someone else or misrepresenting themselves as the business being reviewed.
- Reviews that incorporate hate speech.
Taking Removing Fake Reviews to the Next Level
When removal requests go unnoticed – and they often do simply because companies like Google are so large! – a defamation attorney can expedite the process of removal by subpoenaing the company to request that they provide the identity of the individual or individuals who left the defamatory review. While the reviewer may not have provided accurate identifying information when they set up their account, they very likely did not hide their IP address. This means that while you may not receive an accurate name and contact number from the company handling the reviews, your attorney will be able to obtain a valid IP address to identify the culprit.
Once provided with the IP address, your attorney will go to the internet service provider to obtain information on the identity behind that IP address. This is done through another subpoena.
Removing Fake Reviews: A Defamation Lawsuit
The final step in the removal process once an ISP provides identification information of the user of the IP address in question is to begin a defamation lawsuit. Your attorney will be able to take care of the defamation lawsuit filing as you seek to have the defamatory review removed and seek compensation for the damages that you have incurred as a result of the fake review.
Why Isn’t Removing Fake Reviews Easier?
Removing fake reviews isn’t easier because if it was, every business with a negative review – even when that review is well-deserved – would seek to have negative reviews removed so that their online reviews only reflected the positive side of their business. This would render the entire review process pointless!
Removing Fake Reviews and Need the Help of a Reputable Defamation Attorney?
If you need the assistance of a reputable defamation attorney when trying to remove fake reviews of your business online, attorney Matt Weidner can help. To find out how Weidner Law can help you, just pick up the phone and dial 727-954-8752 today!