The internet provides us with many benefits, but it’s not without its issues. The speed of communication is a classic example of a huge benefit when getting in touch with loved ones or when conducting business. However, when the content is damaging, then rapid distribution can quickly create significant problems along with the potential for related issues such as an invasion of personal privacy. Then there are the issues associated with intellectual property and the protection of our written word, images and video.
Laws covering this field of legislation are in continual review with a strong demand for new internet law as the use of the web becomes further entwined into our lives. This then means that to both protect your reputation and in times of reputational crisis, there will be times when you will need to call on the services of an internet law firm and their team of lawyers.
Internet Law and Defamatory Content
The internet can appear to be an uncensored medium, however, this is not the case. When defamatory comments are made on the internet, whether that’s on a website or social media, then there is legislation in place to protect both individuals and businesses from the resultant legal issues.
According to the law, defamation has taken place when a statement is made which causes or is likely to cause an individual serious reputational harm. If the statement relates to a business, then it must cause or be likely to cause serious financial loss. It’s then easy to see how a shared post or a comment made without thought can fall foul of the standard set by internet law.
Internet defamation simply refers to content being published within an online context such as a website or Facebook. There are however exceptions. This then means that it requires the skills of an internet lawyer to interpret the law to then determine whether the content is defamatory or not.
How To Manage an Online Reputation Crisis
If defamatory information has been published on the internet about you or your business, then time is of the essence. Digital information can become viral within minutes and with that comes a greater challenge in containing the issue.
This is when experience plays a huge part in damage limitation. When a reputation management consultant is charged with resolving the situation, their knowledge of who to contact and the processes involved means that rapid action can be taken. They know for example, which companies are a member of the Internet Service Providers Association and therefore the standards they uphold requiring action to be taken.
Reputation management businesses tend to work alongside law firms so that they can call on the expertise of internet lawyers in these time-critical situations.
Finding a Law Firm and Social Media Lawyer
If your reputational crisis needs legal advice then it’s important to find a law firm that specialises in internet law. Their internet lawyers will have substantial experience within the legal framework which covers activity on the web.
Legal language can be confusing but it’s important to make sure that you contact the right person so you might see:
The term ‘lawyers’ describes someone who’s a qualified Licensed Legal Practitioner, including the terms solicitor and barrister. Lawyers may give legal advice in one or more areas of the law and may operate independently or as part of a law firm.
Solicitors are qualified legal professionals who provide legal advice to their clients.
An attorney is an American term for a lawyer. An attorney may specialise in laws related to the internet such as defamatory statements or intellectual property.
Will An Internet Lawyer Resolve Online Reputation Issues?
The legal advice of the internet lawyer will help you to understand if there is a case to be heard, along with which laws apply. But then comes the need to re-establish your reputation. That’s why we recommend the service provided by a reputation management consultant. They will work with internet lawyers to understand what’s happened, to clean up the situation and ensure that your reputation is protected moving forward.
How Do I Protect My Online Reputation?
In a perfect world, there would no need to call on the services of an internet lawyer, let alone have a solicitor defending your online reputation. However, as technology advances, and as websites, the internet and e-commerce become the way in which we live our lives, we do need to take a proactive approach to protect how others perceive us.
Online reputation is something that many of us don’t think about until there’s an issue. Whether it’s your personal reputation, that of your company, or even someone related to you, it can be a hugely stressful experience.
Online Reputation Protection for Businesses
Your company will have an online reputation that will either encourage new clients or cause them to look elsewhere. It may be that you have intellectual property on your website which is important to protect. It could be understanding how copyright applies and whether the media you share could result in legal challenges. Then it’s important to ensure that the technology used is accessible yet retains privacy for your clients.
When you have a business with an online presence keeping up with the relevant internet business law and legal requirements can be a nightmare. With the guidance and support of an internet lawyer and reputation management professionals those issues disappear.
Online Reputation Protection for Individuals
Many of us share information on social media and websites without thinking too much about how it influences our online reputation. However, your online reputation can influence gaining contracts of employment, house rental agreements and even new relationships.
When you consider the impact of your reputation on your future life you realise the importance of gaining specialist help and advice to ensure that it’s safely protected. After all, no-one wants to have to call on the help of a firm of solicitors and the powers of the law to sort out their online reputation!