The following people use Google and Facebook to conduct simple and quick background checks. What will they find when they check you?
- Hiring HR managers
- College admission offices
- Bosses and supervisors
- Men and women when they first begin dating
- Law Enforcement
As a former prosecutor, I regularly ran defendant’s information through social media websites to see if he or she had made statements about the case, the judge, or any other relevant information. More often than not, defendants would make statements – to their own detriment. When a police officer tells you you can remain silent, that includes Twitter and Facebook!
Fixing your online image
If you find yourself portrayed in an unflattering light you have several options.
- Untag yourself in the photo or post
- Delete the post or photo (if you put it up yourself)
- Ask the poster to remove it
- If it violates facebook, twitter, or some other social media’s terms of service (i.e. pornographic material, bullying, or scams) then notify the webmaster for removal.
- Hire a company to watch your “online image” like reputation defender
What if that doesn’t work?
Frankly, we have had some success at having websites remove the material with either a phone call from a lawyer or a strongly worded letter. Most websites are interested in driving traffic and selling ads and not interested in being drug into court for a lawsuit.
What if that doesn’t work (part II)?
Well, you always have the option to sue the web provider for any one of the following:
- Invasion of privacy
- Intellectual property violation
Unfortunately, this may or may not get to the heart of the matter, if the individual who got the material in the first place is still distributing the offending picture. You can always sue that individual and request a NDA. You can also obtain an injunction against one or all of the parties who is publishing the offending material. That will hopefully stop the spread. Unfortunately with the internet, once something is out, it is sort of like trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
Maryland lawyer: the bottom line
We have quickly and efficiently been able to resolve the online image issues for several clients. Often they are resolved with a few quick phone calls and letters (or emails). Rarely do these disputes end up in court. However, if you find yourself the victim of cyberbullying, image tarnishment, or other online warfare tactics, do not hesitate to call ENlawyers to protect yourself.