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How to respond to online business defamation

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2023 | Business Disputes

Business defamation has always been an issue but the internet has made it much worse. A single allegation from a disgruntled customer or an ex-employee or partner can reach millions of people within a short period on online platforms. Customers have been known to boycott businesses after seeing online allegations. So, how can you protect your company from this?

Here are two tips for responding to online defamation:

Understand the elements of your case

Defamation can be in the form of slander (oral/verbal defamation) or libel (a written or published false statement or pictures). For example, if someone says untrue things about you in a video they post, that would be slander. If they write a review that falsely accuses your business of something, that would be libel.

Respond carefully

When someone defames you online, stay calm and avoid the temptation to reply immediately as you might make the situation worse. Consider consulting with others, especially if you find it hard not to take the comments personally.

You don’t want to wait too long to reply or act either, as the person (and anyone seeing what they said) may think you are ignoring the issue or do not care.

Try to understand why they said the things about you

They might just have been upset at the time. It might be relatively easy to make things right with them and have them remove the comment.  Perhaps there is even some truth to their claims, even if they are not wholly true.

Other times, you may need to look at legal options to protect your business from untrue allegations. Whatever you do, remember that taking the wrong approach could be even more damaging than the initial defamation. Consider getting legal guidance to examine your options.