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Legal threats over negative online review

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by xplosiv, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. xplosiv

    xplosiv Power Member

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    Here's what he wrote:

    Do you know the legal definition of defamation? It's when someone writes something that not true, and is harmful to that person's reputation and or business. Dr. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx , is a real doctor. He's also my father. He and I developed this product in 2000. Your article claims it he's not a real doctor regardless of lies you say about our product line. I must say, this is done in such poor taste and the ethics of this review and your monetary motive for doing it is bottom of the barrel. Your motives are obvious to anyone. I kindly ask you to publicly retract your statements and remove this bogus review. This is the last kind thing I will ask of you. I'm sending all of this to my attorney xxxxxxxxxx in Ohio. You can look him up. He's a real IP attorney. He loves a good defamation case.

    --------------------​

    Just recently I posted a negative online review about a company and their product. These guys are selling a product that is absolute garbage, and there are also dozens of other negative reviews posted about the product online.

    About an hour ago, I received an email from someone who claims that if the review isn't removed, they will be talking to their attorney about a defamation case (apparently the son of the guy). The review is true according to my results with the product, as well as several people who have emailed me to tell the product is a scam.

    I don't live in the US, so firstly I don't know if this will even apply to me. And secondly, this is free speech - however, I am looking for an expert legal opinion if anyone could point me in the right direction. Worst case scenario, I'll remove the review, but I'd prefer to leave it up because many people have lost money to it.
     
  2. ShiinaMashiro

    ShiinaMashiro Registered Member

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    That's internet bro, he just want you to shit your pants. Don't be afraid and just ignore that.

    IMHO.
     
  3. xplosiv

    xplosiv Power Member

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    I am just looking into the laws regarding this now, I am not good with legal speak but I am seeing that the burden of proof is on them because my statements on the product are factual (although I did call the product a piece of shit?)... confusing stuff, but I really do not want to risk getting into a lawsuit over it. It also has negative reviews available on Amazon, which I did feature to back up my statements (claimed with authors permissions).

    Also, they are using false testimonials on their website, so should I make threats to report them to the FTC? LOL...
     
  4. Phenomix

    Phenomix Regular Member

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    Did you actually purchase this product so that you can justify giving it a review?
     
  5. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    That is a life is too short moment.

    OP, life is too short to bother calling the FTC in retaliation; it is not too short to ignore, move on and do something that is productive though.
     
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  6. neu009

    neu009 Senior Member

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    LOL if you bought the product and it is your review then fuck them. I can be as fucking negative as I want. As long as you know you are right dont fucking settle for anything.
     
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  7. xplosiv

    xplosiv Power Member

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    Yes I did purchase the product through Ebay (new and sealed). Thanks for the advice guys, I've toned down a bit of my language to be more vague on things I am not exactly sure about (such as whether the creator of the product is actually a doctor or a made up persona) just in case. If anyone has any more advice on this type of thing I would love to hear it through.

    Thanks Bass Tracker Boats, I won't bother with the FTC considering I live in Australia (although my site is geared towards US readers and hosted in the US) - if you were in a similar situation, would you ignore the threat? Or leave it because it's your opinion, your website, etc?
     
  8. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I'd ignore it as it holds no water and is probably just rhetoric on their part.

    My guess is that the email was sent to all the neg reviewers; no attorney worth his salt is going to take that on a contingency so they would have to be laying out some cash to go after someone that may or may not be worth while suing.

    And suing someone that is in AUS from the USA is going to be even more expensive that if you were here in the States.
     
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  9. Aluminium

    Aluminium Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Pretty much.

    Call his bluff and tell him to eat a plate of human waste ;)

    Unless the negative review at hand isn't legitimate (as in, they didn't actually deserve it); in which case, it could be considered defaming.

    Probably won't sue you though haha
     
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  10. MidtownMan

    MidtownMan Regular Member

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    he's just butt hurt mate.
     
  11. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Lol @ these comments.

    They're all right OP.

    I think BTB nailed it: he probably sits around sending that email to everyone who leaves a negative review about the product in hopes of scaring people into taking it down. Don't fall for his intimidation tactics.
     
  12. BlogPro

    BlogPro Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    In almost every legal counsel, the attorney asks the client to withhold any kind of communication with the other party. If he has the attorney on call, you would've heard from the attorney and not from the "son of the product creator".

    At the most they can do is, send a cease and desist or get a court sanctioned takedown notice which can be CCed to your host.

    As far as getting "sued" is concerned, you've got nothing to worry about.
     
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  13. warner410

    warner410 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    My advice is:

    Don't unnecessarily mess with people on the internet. Do not underestimate the ability of unknown people to damage your business and life.

    If you weren't sure about the creator's credentials, you should not have written anything about him. If he is indeed a doctor, legally you have already committed an offence.

    It is unlikely that you will get sued in Australia, but there are lot of other things that the other party can do - ethical as well as unethical.

    If you are determined to keep the review online, politely decline to remove it and state in clear language your reasons for doing so.
     
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  14. xplosiv

    xplosiv Power Member

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    All great advice - I believe I am well within my rights for posting the review. I bought it, used it, failed to get results with it. I bought it even though it had negative reviews, but I tested it objectively to write a post on my site about it.

    Anyway, a cease and desist letter does worry me, but I am in a fairly small niche so I doubt they've got the resources to take it all the way to court and then file it with my host (traffic planet). This would likely be a very costly endeavor, especially considering their own fantastic, unrealistic claims of the products capabilities.
     
  15. oseart

    oseart Registered Member

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    My opinion? Let them press charges, they probably wont win
     
  16. security

    security Junior Member

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    Leave it up.. You are entitled to post your honest opinion of something. Other people are allowed to believe it or not.
     
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  17. xplosiv

    xplosiv Power Member

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    I think there a few more companies I should cover with these negative reviews, because they receive a lot of complaints from people who end up on my site after falling for these crappy marketing company products. They make outrageous claims then act like whiny little babies when they get called out (my site is becoming an authority, even though the niche is pretty small).

    I see what you're saying though, I have been negative SEO'd in the past after I wrote a review on a particular company which didn't work... and in fact I actually have #1 spots for the keyword they tried to over-optimize me for (cracks me up every time).

    Also, I wrote an email to the guy saying I made a few amendments, but only because he seems like a nice guy. I toned down the language a little bit (because I swear on my site a fair bit), make no more claims of the doctor being a potentially false persona, and added a note saying that it is strictly my opinion.
     
  18. Anders3

    Anders3 Junior Member

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    Haha what a guy, tries to intimidate people who gives him bad reviews. Post a link to his site here and I will drop by and give him a bad review also! :D
     
  19. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Then you need to consult a Lawyer/Solicitor.

    TBH, I wouldn't worry about it, at least not until he takes it further, even if his solicitor contacts you there is not much to worry about until they actually take legal action.
     
  20. VeeGeeN

    VeeGeeN Regular Member

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    Tell him the amount of money that qualifies for you to change it to a positive review lol.. Wonder if he would bite.

    And if he does, put the post on Reddit about this company and their shit product, thus gaining traffic to your site and outing an asshole..