BoomtownIG

Customer That Continues to Post Negative Material

7 posts in this topic

I have an internet marketing client that advertises chiropractic treatment on Facebook and they have a former client who continues to write negative reviews and comments on their facebook posts and ads, despite being offered monetary compensation and being asked by the attending chiropractor to cease.  What legal recourse or other best practices should this chiropractor use to protect their online reputation from slander and deformation? When the assistant at the practice called the offender to ask him why he is posting these comments and whether the practice could do anything to help him, he yelled at her over the phone and told her that there was nothing she could do and that the practice mislead him.

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3 minutes ago, ElleMD said:

Delete the comments. Problem solved.

You actually can't delete the reviews.  Facebook has a strict policy, they won't remove posts unless they are viewed as harmful.  If is someone's opinion, they won't do anything.  

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You as the owner of the page (or whoever is the owner of the page) can delete the posts or post a rebuttal. Or set it up so that anything someone wants to post to the timeline must be vetted by you first.

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1 minute ago, ElleMD said:

You as the owner of the page (or whoever is the owner of the page) can delete the posts or post a rebuttal. Or set it up so that anything someone wants to post to the timeline must be vetted by you first.

 

You misunderstand the situation, I think. The customer is posting the comments not on the OP's page, but on the customer's own Facebook pages. The OP cannot, of course, delete material on the customer's Facebook page.

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19 minutes ago, BoomtownIG said:

I have an internet marketing client that advertises chiropractic treatment on Facebook and they have a former client who continues to write negative reviews and comments on their facebook posts and ads, despite being offered monetary compensation and being asked by the attending chiropractor to cease.  What legal recourse or other best practices should this chiropractor use to protect their online reputation from slander and deformation?

 

Defamation has two types: spoken defamation, which is called slander, and written defamation, which is called libel. If the Facebook comments of the former client are defamatory then it is libel. The problem is that opinions, no matter how negative, are defamatory. Defamation requires a false statement of fact. True statements of fact, even if negative, are not defamation. Statements of opinion are not statements of fact and thus not defamatory.

 

If the posts are actually defamatory the chiropractor may sue the former client for an injunction ordering the client to remove the portions of the posts that are defamatory and also sue for any money damages caused by the defamation. But the chiropractor should be aware that doing this might (1) actually cause even wider distribution of the former client’s statements, (2) aggravate the former client even more and result in even further negative comments from him and (3) might put off other potential clients fearing that the chiropractor might lash out at them with a lawsuit if the chiropractor doesn’t like what the client has to say about the chiropractor. I would urge the chiropractor to consult an attorney in her state to who handles defamation lawsuits to find out what the chances are that lawsuit might succeed, what it will cost, and what the potential pitfalls she may face in pursuing it. With online reviews it can often be best to simply let it go. After all, how many future patients are really reading this person’s facebook page to begin with?

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2 hours ago, BoomtownIG said:

I have an internet marketing client that advertises chiropractic treatment on Facebook and they have a former client who continues to write negative reviews and comments on their facebook posts and ads, despite being offered monetary compensation and being asked by the attending chiropractor to cease.

 

Why on Earth hasn't your client blocked this person or made reports to Facebook?

 

 

2 hours ago, BoomtownIG said:

What legal recourse or other best practices should this chiropractor use to protect their online reputation from slander and deformation?

 

For starters, not every "negative review[] [or] comment[]" is defamation (slander is the spoken form of defamation, so it isn't applicable to comments in social media).  If defamation is, in fact, occurring, then your client can sue.

 

 

1 hour ago, Tax_Counsel said:

You misunderstand the situation, I think. The customer is posting the comments not on the OP's page, but on the customer's own Facebook pages. The OP cannot, of course, delete material on the customer's Facebook page.

 

While I certainly agree with the second sentence here, I read the original post the same way that "ElleMD" did.  The OP wrote that the former client "continues to write negative reviews and comments on their [sic] facebook posts and ads."  The ambiguous use of "their" in this sentence makes it impossible to be certain, but it sure sounds to me as though the OP is talking about the client's "posts," and I doubt the former client is posting "ads" on Facebook.

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