Hello All! I have learned the hard way how easy it is for crazies to slander people on the internet. In my case it was me, an attorney, who got slandered — I was accused of being in a conspiracy against my own client in a lawsuit 5+ years ago. That guy (a blogger) copied my keywords/metatags from my website and copy/pasted it into the metadata of his defamatory blog tricking Google into ranking it when somebody looks me up. When people search those keywords and terms, bam, the slanderous site shows up — often prominently. Certainly that’s against the law right? This problem is the poster-child for something being “against the law” while at the same time having very little you can do about it.
Here’s the dilemma. If you report them for deceptive practices (the stealing of keywords/metatags to trick search engines) or slander (complete lies and distortions) you only risk re-inspiring the psychopathy that got them started in the first place. It’s like being screamed at by a crazy person on the street … it’s best to just put your head down and get the hell out there without a word. But it’s the internet! There’s no “getting out of there” … that person follows you spreading hate for all the world to see. Filing a lawsuit creates the same dilemma, and it’s very expensive because it’ll have to be in federal court based on the person living in another state. And even if you win your case they can start up a brand new defamatory blog completely reinvigorated and re-inspired. What can you do!? Your only “shut it down” solutions run the risk of re-awakening their delusions.
LUCKY FOR ME, in my situation the blog I’m referring to is OBVIOUSLY the work of a mentally unstable and hateful individual so he basically invalidates himself by his own words: (1) He is still insisting (ranting actually) on his blog that global warming is a complete hoax … and an evil conspiracy; (2) He pretends on his blog to have specialized scientific expertise when he really has very little scientific knowledge (I’m going easy here out of respect, but suffice it to say he does not work, nor has he ever worked, as anything even remotely close to being a “scientist”); (3) The person viciously slanders/attacks many other people throughout his hateful blog, many of whom are also alleged to be plotting against him; (4) the blog is clearly just a pulpit for wide-ranging conspiratorial ramblings having little to do with what the blog pretends to be about. So, while anyone can easily see that the slanderous blog should be seen as simply the rantings of a nut, nobody wants slanderous, false, and crazy stories even remotely connected to their name.
Anyway, getting back to cyber slander generally, what about when it happens to kids? You often hear stories about cyberbullying and the dissemination of private or false material by hateful people. Same problem! I cannot believe there is not a better way to address these things. This is scary stuff.
If anyone has any comments, ideas, stories, or information please jump in and contribute.
P.S. How did my slander situation get started in the first place? About 5+ years ago I determined that there was insufficient facts/evidence to pursue his case. As a favor to him, however, I stuck with it for a while to give him time to get a second opinion or find another attorney. To my knowledge all second opinions supported mine. No other attorney ever took the case over. Oh, and for the record, there was no conspiracy against this man (that should go without saying).