As discussed in a previous post, one of the benefits of hiring an experienced Internet attorney instead of a traditional web marketing or reputation management company is that an attorney are good at removing damaging online content from the internet IMMEDIATELY.
The benefit of having damaging material completely removed immediately instead of just pushing content off the first page of search engine results is pretty apparent; it’s like asking an eight year old whether “more is better than less.” Every moment that a piece of damaging content remains on the internet increases the amount of reputational harm and monetary damage to you or your businesses.
What many people fail to consider, however, is something I call the “Monkey See, Monkey Do” and “Whack-a-Mole” effects (i.e. beware of Moles and Monkey’s.). What exactly am I talking about? Allow me to explain.
Many times, an initial post containing damaging content or information is only the tip of the iceberg.
If information is not removed in a timely manner, it is often copied, duplicated, syndicated, and spread throughout the internet. This process occurs in several ways and usually happens automatically, beyond the control of both the author and the victim who is harmed by the content that is posted.
For example, images become independently searchable; static portions of webpages duplicate on to every page of a website and can literally generate thousands of search engine web page results; content becomes a part of a search engine’s “cache” and becomes viewable in internet history archives; webpages are linked to by similar websites and related webpages, and information is automatically spread across the internet by social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Another concern is that most people who post truly damaging information on the internet about others usually don’t stop after putting the information on a single website. Typically, people put damaging content on multiple websites until they are confident that the harmful information will get the attention that they want. Thus, if the author of a damaging post is not identified and confronted regarding their activities, they will continue their behavior and cause even more harm and damage.
The above considerations are what I call the “Whack-A-Mole” effect. If harmful content is not removed quickly, more bad material will keep popping up. This is why it’s imperative to work with a legal professional to stop this activity at its source, and remove content immediately, before it spreads and becomes a bigger issue.
“Monkey See, Monkey Do”
The other issue that frequently occurs is something that I call the “Monkey See, Monkey Do” effect. If a harmful post is not removed quickly, the post can be viewed by others as an invitation to join in and provide additional information and harmful content.
Many times people don’t feel comfortable posting negative information about another person or company if no one else has taken the initiative to be the first. Once one person “breaks the ice” it may not be long until other “monkey’s” start coming out of the woodwork to do the same. It is critical to respond to content that is posted as quickly and as appropriately as possible to prevent this from happening.
Your online reputation is not a game. If search engines are currently only showing a single piece of harmful content that you want removed from the internet, consider yourself lucky and contact the experienced Internet attorneys at Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis, LPA at (216) 373-7706 or AMinc@Meyersroman.com to discuss the quickest ways to completely remove damaging content from the Internet today.