Court Rules RipOff Report Not Required to Remove Defamation

Court Rules RipOff Report Not Required to Remove Defamation

I’ve personally gotten to the point of accepting that RipOff Report will never be removed from Google’s index–such peace comes from accepting what you can’t control.

However, my teeth are still grinding over a recent ruling that basically says RipOff Report is not required to remove defamatory content from its web site. Techdirt reports…

Last week, in an appeal on that original case, the appeals court basically ruled the same way: Ripoff Report has no requirement to remove the content judged to be defamatory, because it is not a party to the lawsuit, and thanks to Section 230 it cannot be a party to that lawsuit.

Not the news that many suffering at the hands of defamation on RoR wanted to hear. 🙁

Still, there are a couple small rays of light.

First, while not removing the defamatory content, RipOff Repot did update the page indicating that the content had been ruled defamatory.

Second, the courts still disagree over whether RoR does or does not have to remove defamatory content–with a Florida state court granting a restraining order forcing RoR to remove a different defamatory post. That’s a small victory and is only a temporary restraining order.

Mike Masnick is certainly more learned in defamation laws than me, but I tend not to agree that the only remedy for online defamation should be monetary damages and not the removal of said defamation. If it’s not removed, it continues to damage the reputation of the person attacked. I’m sure Masnick would agree that if someone stood in Times Square every day and called you a murderer and a cheat, you’d want the guy removed, not fined so he can continue each day. 😉

ByAndy Beal

Andy Beal is The Original Online Reputation Expert™. A bestselling author of two critically-acclaimed reputation management books, a keynote speaker at dozens of events, and brand consultant experience with thousands of individuals and companies.

    11 Comments for “Court Rules RipOff Report Not Required to Remove Defamation”
    1. So when will someone build a website that allows for user generated content talking about how RippOffReport is a party to spreading falsehoods etc.

      It can talk about about all the court actions against them and why the public shouldn’t trust anything that is written there.

      Bet if a few of use SEO’s put our minds to it, the site could out rank them for their name. Hmmm

    2. @Andy – Great insight. Thanks for posting.
      @Melissa – Wholeheartedly agree.
      @Alan – Not a bad idea. I’m in.

    3. My company, my personal life and my teenage daughter’s life were destroyed so badly by exceptionally hateful and spiteful FALSE claims by a woman I dated for 2 weeks that it almost drove me to suicide.

      I contacted the FBI, the District Attorney and even civil litigators. It didn’t matter, because one, she had no money, and two Rip Off Report has no credibility verification protocols whatsoever.

      The post wasn’t even about my business. It was a personal attack on me that was completely false statements even accused me of being convicted of heinous crimes, which are easily dismissed by doing a background check.

    4. This is a travesty. i predict that in a few years everyone will change their name to “John Smith” and will never invest too much in their own business because the risk of ending up maligned unjustly on a site like this is too high. This will cause massive unemployment. If the owner of RoR was so sanctimonious as he claims he is in one of his blogs, then he would allow the original poster of the complaint to be removed, after all the issue was solved, right? But no. He will not allow it, under the guise that he’s protecting the 1st amendment? Huh? How so? That little tidbit proves his nefarious intentions. Our spineless politicians and search engine magnates are too full of themselves to do something for the common person. Hurry everyone change your name to John Smith and do not invest too much in your own business as sooner rather than later, a disgruntled employee, or a competitor will ruin you business and make you lose your home if you happened to invest your money in that business. This is the future my friends. Thank you ROR.

    5. I have a court action against Google in Australia over Ripoff Report.

      I have gathered a lot of information and put it on this link:
      An Australian recently won against Yahoo and his defamation trial against Google is due to start in June.

      Since I filed proceeding urls to Ripoff Report linking to other non-US victims have been removed from Google when they requested.

      Since the media stories were published my blog traffic has increased. The interesting aspect is that quite a few law firms in Canada, New Zealand, the UK and Australia have visited the blog.

      My point is that maybe a few successfull actions will show Google that it is a liability-especially now since Google are profiting from the pages containing defamatory material.

      In the US victims are connecting on this FB page:

      It was started by an Australian who has filed defamation proceedings against the Ed personally (so it is not section 230 barred). This is his website:

      I know that some people are lobbying in the US and anyone who wants to join them can connect at the FB page or Michael’s website.

    6. Please sign the white house online petition and remove rip off report if you are sick of the cyber bullying, extortion and slander like I am. white house dot gov

    7. Hi Andy,

      Great post!

      May I ask, whom has the most to profit high net worth individuals whose reputations are vital to their earning power – doctors, lawyers, and other professionals. Or, from cyber bullying children whose parents could afford Reputation Management services?

      In April of 2011, I testified for the first time against partners in crime syndicate who in order to make millions created an automated technology that generated defamatory content about individuals and corporations who valued their reputations—the bigger the better. We’re talking about a whole new strain of WMDs—weapons of mass defamation. Think about it: What if allegations of pedophilia were to pop up the next time you Googled your name? Or what if obscene stories about your wife, children, or significant other came up? When what’s at stake is the destruction of your career, your marriage, or your child’s future, money is no object—and these predators know it. The fear-based marketing program was established on the premise that by tormenting teenagers with embarrassing details about their personal lives such as outing them if they’re gay to their social networks, or belittling them online for their looks or social skills or lack of friends, they could induce “little Johnny” to kill himself. After the suicides began, they believed no parent would turn down their services. When the time is right they will call or email their victims–Reputation Management to the rescue—antidote in one hand, anthrax in the other. How do I know this? We’ll get to that later. The bigger question is, how is it even possible? In geek-speak, it’s called a SQL injection hack. This particular variety was created to do a number of things, including the de-indexing (hiding) of specific pages from search engines.
      (Read certified court reporters transcript below)

      Prior to my testimony, these reputation management companies created false Ripoff Reports and Blog Spots against me. False 1099’s were issued and a recording was provided in which the partners on 1-27-2011 conspired to have me killed in the event I went public.

      All this would go away if I agreed to stop my whistle blowing and allow these people to continue to victimize businesses, children, Ripoff Reports and Google.

      The RoR’s filed against me were designed to ruin my career, and even lied about legal outcomes. For instances this group of Reputation Management companies have filed 3 lawsuits against to try and chill my free speech, all their lawsuits have been dismissed, yet they announce victory against me or that restraining orders have been granted. I know RoR offers the opportunity have a neutral and independent arbitrator review the evidence and/or sworn affidavits against that of the author of the report and that the arbitrator then reviews all of the submissions and renders a written decisions. In the event that the arbitrator determines found report contained one or more false statement of fact. The false statements would be redacted. The is a filing fee of $2,000 to pay for the arbitrator’s time and for administration of the program, seemed reasonable, but my intention was not only for myself but other victims of Google-Cide.
      I wrote some highly detailed reports against those whom defamed me on RoR. The reports were of high enough quality that RoR made two of them featured reports. Therefore my antagonists are seen by all vistiors of the website. RoR is no resector of persons, in other words, put some time into your report and it might also be featured.

      Evil Empire

      The Reputation Management sector is estimated to grow to $5 billion by 2015. That was enough of a draw to have nearly 3,000 affiliates utilize the fear-based marketing program mentioned above. Nearly 3,000 entities are utilizing something in geek-speak called a SQL injection code. This particular variety was created to do a number of things, including de-indexing (hiding) specific pages from search engines.

      The $5 billion in Reputation Management seems like a lot, but there are bigger plays involved and they have Google in their sight. That’s right—they plan to extort Google. The fear-based marketing program was predicated on casting Google in a false light, as they say on the audio recordings, they will make Google look like the Evil Empire. Then extort Google, just as this group had previously attempted to extort Ripoff Report.


    8. I had someone who obviously just plain doesnt like me post horrible things about me on ROR and i dont know what to do about it! Is like someone wrote something slanderous on every bathroom wall in the world! If you read it, its obvious that its an attempt at savage and demoralizing humor. It would be obvious to whomever runs the site that this was untrue and still they allowed it to be posted and now its right there at the top of google search just by putting in my name! I never imagined such a thing happening to me!! Why do they allow personal attacks on anyone, by anyone, for any reason? It just doesnt make sense! What can i do??

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