Though Massive’s clients are scattered across the globe, this article turns our eyes to the UK. Much like the USA, the United Kingdom has laws which protect freedom of speech and thus, online hate speech.
Online defamation in the UK has become more prevalent over the past 2 years. Free blogs are now available everywhere, 2000+ high profile company review sites have been created, forums are just one click away for almost every industry, people are turning to reviews for references and the media has had been given more legal rights to slander at will (under Free Press). The situation is that UK judgments are leaning heavily towards the defendant and the the law is going a bit upside down.
What does this mean for UK businesses who have been defamed?
It means you have to get protected. Being insured for internet or media libel is a must these days, because you can find yourself in amidst a battle and legal costs and reputation management costs will make your firm suffer, let alone the monetary loss from the online defamation itself. Thankfully there are UK insurance options available for this — the costs are nominal. Your attack strategy should be planned well before the libel or slander even takes place and should minimally include:
- Internet & Media Insurance to cover possible future costs;
- An understanding of what online defamation is in the UK. Internetrights.org.uk gives a great overview of this subject;
- A good online defamation lawyer with a proven track record;
- An online reputation management company who can clean up the aftermath.
You will need to put together a precise legal strategy against the source of the online defamation. A UK lawyer will usually start with a solicitor’s letter demanding the removal of the online defamation and threatening future legal action.
Finding the hidden enemy
In many cases though the source of the libel is not known as the UK permits anonymous publications. This is where Massive will team with your law firm and provide our cyber forensics search. 99% of the time we can trace back who the anonymous attacker is and provide this as evidence. This will save you countless thousands of pounds in legal costs, where your lawyer has to request the information from the website host. And the outcome of such a demand is always a gamble.
Online defamation: Suing for damages
In severe cases of online defamation, it would be wise to propose suing for monetary and reputation damages which resulted from the libel or slander. (see definitions of libel and slander). This requires a strong argument so the detail by which you prepare your timeline is most important.
Online defamation is a touch and go topic in the UK. A good lawyer will tell you that he cannot guarantee the case and it will be very unlikely you will find a legal firm who will be willing to take the case on contingency.
However, Massive has assisted legal firms in the UK and US take cases from 20-40% probability of winning to 90-100%. How? Intelligent strategies which are put into place to gather the evidence needed for the results we want. This includes.
- Investigate the source of the attack to provide unquestionable evidence
- Force the source of the online defamation make an obvious mistake
- Capture new evidence
Online Defamation Removal & Suppression
Massive provides unrivalled online protection for private individuals or brands. Our services include the removal or suppression of content for the keyword searches you desire. If we can’t clean it up, you don’t pay.
We have been working with PR & Legal firms to protect their clients from all forms of attacks including:
- Online Newspapers
- Social Accounts / Pages
- Review sites
- Complaint websites
As a business owner or prominent person (someone who gets media attention), the current digital age almost demands you to take precaution against online defamation and internet libel. In the UK there are solutions and Massive can bring you all of the above together as one operational machine.
Feel free to contact me if you need assistance with any of the insurance, legal or reputation services listed above.