What is the most effective way to deal with online reputation attacks? Most lawyer will advise you to issue an injunction. However, read this article and think twice before taking any harsh steps.
So is an injunction always the best option to respond to online reputation attacks?
The answer would depend on who you are up against as well as what exactly motivates them in their attempts to tarnish your reputation.
Injunctions to stop online reputation attacks will normally be most appropriated against companies as well as individuals who are generally speaking, law abiding people and who are motivated by a sense of injustice. A mere threat of an injunction which is coupled with reiteration of the costs which are involved in defending it, is normally sufficient to act as a deterrent, to bring a defamatory case to its successful end. The trouble of course is what to do when faced with unscrupulous individuals who consider themselves as having nothing to lose and who are willing to disobey Court orders by repeating the defamatory remarks under false names and on different websites and discussion groups.
An Injunction against further publications of defamatory remarks by those individuals might not be as effective because it might simply bring about the distribution of further remarks by these individuals, who might end up using several websites to distribute the lies.
Each case must therefore be considered very carefully and if an injunction is to be sought, it is better sought against the companies which are behind the website where the libellous remarks are published. An injunction against the owner of a website or even the Internet Service Provider, in addition to the individual writer might be proved to be the most effective way of bringing the matter to a successful end.
If the need for an injunction arises, you will need to investigate the subject matter thoroughly, prepare some defences to guard against reprisals and then pursue the most effective avenue for ensuring that the damaging remarks are being removed.