Since I’m interested in the field of online reputation management, I try to read various online articles about the topic when I come across them. When I read a recent article concerning several reputation management-related defamation lawsuits that have been filed in federal courts, I was amazed by what I learned.
Evidently, at least 25 lawsuits have been filed wherein the “defendants” are most likely imaginary or fictitious people. The plaintiffs in these cases file defamation lawsuits over comments that have been made about them online. It is often very difficult to determine who actually made these defaming comments.
By suing make-believe defendants, the attorneys for the plaintiffs are able to get the Reputation Defender to agree in writing that they defamed the plaintiff. With a signed statement from a defendant that defamation did occur, the plaintiff can then obtain a court order that they can use to get online information removed.
The article goes on to question whether the signed statements from the imaginary people are actually forgeries.In one case that is mentioned, a man from Georgia posted a negative review of his dentist online. A person who claims to be the dentist filed a lawsuit against a fictitious man from another state, who has the same name as the reviewer.
It is suggested that the stipulation from the imaginary man that he defamed the dentist is indeed a forgery. On top of that, it is further suggested that the lawsuit documents supposedly filed on behalf of the plaintiff are also forgeries.
The whole situation sounds like the plot to a TV crime drama to me. No, make that a TV comedy program.
Online comments and reviews can be very useful and helpful. In an ideal world, only nice and true comments would be posted online. You have to wonder, however, about the circumstances that prompt people to post negative comments. The person could be a disgruntled employee, or somebody that has a personal grudge against the other person. I guess that it’s best to sometimes read online comments with a grain of salt.