Since the mid-2000s and the emergence of the Web 2.0 movement, a bevy of Internet sites have promised to provide Internet users with a platform to share their
thoughts, ideas, and experiences. While the first wave of Web 2.0 user-generated content sites included the likes of Facebook, the platform has since been adapted and applied to a broad array of contexts. Today, there is a user generated content website for everything from link-sharing and content aggregation to review sites which rate an array of services, products, or even people.

While many of these sites are founded for legitimate purposes and are used by individuals as they are intended, there are always those individuals who exploit the system to achieve their own ends. These individuals may exploit the online platform by posting false and inaccurate information about a person, business, or service. The poster may think that they are “getting even” over a perceived wrong, but the greater likelihood is the false accusations are needlessly and maliciously harming another hard-working individual. In extreme cases, the online abuse and defamation can lead to the loss of the business or extreme and irreversible actions by the targeted individual.

But the abuse doesn’t have to continue forever, contact the internet defamation removal attorneys of Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis, LPA. We guarantee the removal of the offending content from ComplaintsBureau.com or your money back. For a free consultation call (216) 831-0042 or e-mail Attorney Aaron Minc at Aminc@meyersroman.com.

The Problems Caused by User-Generated Content Sites like ComplaintsBureau.com

Sites like ComplaintsBureau.com claim to be “Made by the consumer, for the consumer.” While statements of this type have significant rhetorical appeal, a look into the site’s business practices calls this mission statement into question. First, while it is indeed true that the site ComplaintsBureau.com does receive a broad exemption from liability for content posted on its site under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the actual posters who write and submit such information do not. Therefore, the individual posters who use the site to target their victims with false and baseless attacks can still be held liable for the damage they cause. Furthermore, Google and other search engines have policies in place where they will remove a search result when presented with a valid court order.

Also rather troubling is the site’s stated approach for the removal of comments and reports. One would expect a site made for the purposes of a consumer to value accuracy above all else. After all, what good is a site for consumers if the individual cannot trust the information found on the site? Unfortunately, the website does not share this view. Rather their policy regarding the posting of materials to the site is:

Your submission of any/all data posted to ComplaintsBureau.com will become the permanent property of this site. Even in the case that a complaint is true or false, that is and will always be the policy….Information posted on ComplaintsBureau.com will NEVER be removed. By posting information on CompliantsBureau.com, you understand that the material you post on will become part of ComplaintsBureau.com permanent record and will NOT be removed, even at your request.

This approach to complaints is troubling because it fails to account for the malicious use of the site by abusers. Furthermore, while the abuser may agree to the terms of the site through their conduct and use of the site, the target of the abuse never has the opportunity to object to the use of the site including the like of the individual’s image on the site in a false or disparaging light.  Furthermore, the site seems to take the position that nearly any legal action is unjustified and “guarantee[s] is the fact that you will have to pay not only your own legal costs but also the total costs that you have caused Complaints Bureau to suffer.” While such an outcome is theoretically possible, it is far from guaranteed and dependent upon the exact legal action that is taken.

The statements on their site seem more likely to intimidate and confuse rather than encourage accuracy or truthfulness on their own platform. If anything, statements like these provide the cover an abuser would look for because they know that their abuse will stick around and be difficult to remove from the Internet. The site appears to also have a practice of publicly mocking and humiliating concerned parties — including police, abuse victims, and lawyers – when they write to the site to address the false and baseless materials that appear online.

Facing Libel or Defamation on Sites Like ComplaintsBureau.com?

If you are facing online libel, the abuse does not have to continue forever and continue to cause damage to your social, professional, and even family life. Contact the internet defamation removal attorneys of Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis, LPA. We fight to make the abuse stop and guarantee the removal of defamatory content from the offending websites like ComplaintsBureau.com or your money back. To schedule a confidential, no-obligation defamation removal consultation call 216-373-7706 or contact us online at Aminc@meyersroman.com.