The internet has become a breeding ground for false information of every kind, and its instantaneous nature and global reach means that the damage resulting from online defamatory statements can be immediate and devastating.
If you’ve been the victim of online defamation, there are a number of things you can do about it. Trustify will connect you with an experienced investigator in your area who can help identify the person posting disparaging comments, and take action to repair the damages suffered from online defamation.
What is Online Defamation?
Defamation is: “the act of communicating false statements about a person that injure the reputation of that person.” Online defamation, then, is the communication of false statements about another via a computer network or other virtual medium. There are two types of online defamation: libel, which is defamation in written form (blog postings, chat room messages, online product or services reviews, etc.), and slander, which is defamation in spoken form (audio files, videos, podcasts, etc.).
What is an Online Defamation Investigation?
An online defamation investigation is focused on locating defamatory statements online and identifying the source or sources of those defamatory statements. These findings can then be passed onto appropriate avenues to assist with the removal of defamatory materials and possible civil/criminal prosecution.
Who Are Online Defamation Investigations For?
Online defamation investigations are commonly started by the victims of online defamatory statements, including those who have suffered personal, professional, or financial damages as a result. Clients may initiate investigations as individuals or on behalf of businesses, professional associations or non-profit organizations. Defamation investigations are also often initiated by the parents of children who have been the target of online defamatory statements or materials, or by the relatives or close friends of someone victimized by online defamation.
Starting an Online Defamation Investigation
Starting a defamation investigation with Trustify is simple and stress free. Here’s how it works:
1. Request a Consultation: Submit your case online or by phone to schedule your consultation. We'll ask for the details we need to get your case matched with an investigator and provide cost estimates.
2. Connect With Your Investigator: A licensed private investigator will contact you to talk to you about the purpose and goals of the investigation. You’ll be asked to provide any and all information you have regarding the defamatory content, as well as to answers to several important questions, including:
- When did the defamatory materials in question first appear online? How did you first become aware of their existence?
- What are your goals and expectations for the investigation?
- Do you know why the online defamatory statements were made?
- Have you suffered any financial losses as a result of the online defamation? Have you lost a job or been denied employment because of the online defamation statements in question?
- Do you have a business that has suffered financially due to the defamation?
- Have criminal charges been filed as a result of the online defamation?
- Do you intend to pursue civil litigation? Will evidence collected in the investigation be used in a court of law?
3. Investigation in Progress: Methods typically employed by investigators in defamation cases include:
- Open source intelligence investigations
- Social media searches
- Digital forensics to identify the poster, and link their online persona to a physical person
- Surveillance, if necessary
- Interviews, statements, etc
- Background investigations on the defamer
4. Case Updates & Final Report: Your investigator will keep you apprised of all developments in real-time. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, a full report will be provided along with any court-admissible evidence. In addition, your private investigator may be available to testify on your behalf in court, if necessary and agreed-upon before the start of the investigation.
What Investigators Will Not Do
Private investigators will always adhere strictly to all applicable laws and professional standards of conduct throughout the course of your investigation. Investigators will not participate in illegal hacking to collect evidence on your behalf. Behaving illegally or unethically can harm a case and prevent further action to identify a defamer and prevent future statements and comments from being published.