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Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6536
Experience:  Civil; Family; HOA; Landlord/Tenant; Real Estate; Probate; Insurance; Immigration; Wills & Trusts
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I have someone following me around on CraigsList - everytime

Resolved Question:

I have someone following me around on CraigsList - everytime I post, they post with a reply that makes my business look bad.

This is his current post on CL:

If you wait a few seconds, then you can see what
his obvious intentions are, and not very good intentions.

I have contacted CL several times by email - they
do not seem to care, or doing anything about this.

I live in MN - CL poster lives in CA according
to his cell phone number, he is a coward also, he
leaves no CL contact info, and he sends me anoy threats
via email to remove my ad or he will continue to post.

is this person committing slander?
what can I legally do about this person?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  MShore replied 7 years ago.
is he making factually inaccurate posts?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
here is a clue:

I am a carpet cleaner:

I live in MN

he lives in CA

I clean carpets around the Minneapolis area.

The Answer: YES! His statements are false.

and lets just say for fun..lets say it was true...
this is harrassment...he is violating CL TOS just
by making harrassing posts...
Expert:  MShore replied 7 years ago.

what exactly is he saying that is false?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Are you serious? are you looking at the entire image?

the one that shows my ad - then it goes on to say:


with a big circle with an X through the circle...

at the bottom it says:

Very Questionable Business Ethics
Will you be their next victim?

His slander ad has also gotten more colorful. if
you notice on that very last section of the image.

from what he has stated - he is fairly vague
about carpet cleaning.

he states that a truck-mount is better...that sounds
good, but is not always true or fact. I have a portable that
is just as good as any truck mounted system.

He does not know that I am insured. You do not
have to be insured. Home owners insur would take
care of any type of damage.

he also asks Do they have a business lic:

a carpet cleaner does not need a business lic, nor
do they need to be certified to clean homes.

he is trying to muttle his way through statements
he does not know much about.

This is an attack...

are you even a lawyer?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
slander does not have to be 100% of what he is saying.
its not all about what he is saying..look at the graphic.

1: he is making false representation by making a graphic
that indicates that I am not a good business.

2: its simple harrassment.

if it is not slander, then defamation.

Do you have any Slander/Defamation experiance?
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 7 years ago.



I believe it is unfair for you to criticize my colleague when he is asking all these things of you for a reason. We are ALL licensed attorneys here and we have all had education/experience with regard to defamation cases. Without going into all the details, there was a reason Mr. Holloman was asking you those questions--even if it might not be apparent to a lay person.


That being said, what you potentially have going on here is libel, not slander. Libel is the written form of defamation (slander is the spoken form). California Civil Code section 45 provides in part as follows:


45. Libel is a false and unprivileged publication by writing, printing, picture, effigy, or other fixed representation to the eye, which exposes any person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy, or which causes him to be shunned or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure him in his occupation.


The Internet has made the ability to speak ill of another person online much easier and as a result, claims of defamation have the potential to grow commensurately. The above parameters of what constitutes defamation also apply online, subject to the provisions of 47 USC section 230. For a fuller discussion of issues related to online defamation, read this excellent article here:


Basically, CA has followed the majority of other states by holding that the actual publisher (Craigslist) of the defamatory content cannot be held liable, but the person who writes the content can.


If what this person wrote is potentially damaging to your business reputation (and it sounds like it is), then you may want to bring suit. Normally, I would suggest that you first have an attorney issue a cease and desist letter on your behalf, but the problem is that this guy (or girl) is publishing these statements anonymously. As such, you are going to have to sue "John or Jane Doe" and then subpoena the IP address of this person from After a little more detective work by your attorney, you will probably get this person's name and then can go after him directly. It will be costly, and in the end, you will have to prove that you have damages from this defamation. Regardless, this is the course of action you must take if you want to sue this person. If you have more questions, I will be happy to answer them. Please accept my answer so I can receive credit for helping you. We can always continue our conversation at no additional charge. Thanks!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
it is no coincidence that I posted the ad, and the very next day this new ad version appears. Only a graphics designer could do this..maybe the very same designer that created the ad to begin with. I have sent him a dozen emails. he has not denied anything or even sent an email back to say it was not him.

What I do not understand why my complaints to CL
being ignored..they could just ban his IP, so
why can they not be sued...if they are doing nothing
about these type of posts, then they are just supporting them.
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 7 years ago.

I will be happy to continue with you. The reason they are doing nothing is because the courts in CA have decided in other cases that a third-party publisher of defamatory material cannot be held liable for publishing the defamatory content. Only the person who posted the defamatory content can be sued. So basically, they aren't going to ban his IP address because they can't be sued for not banning him and they just don't care enough to do so! I hope the laws change eventually, but right now, that's how they are.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What is the incentive for suing or going after this person
if he continues to post on CL. Its hard enough to get work
on CL, but when someone is making it sound like
I am ripping them one is calling.

he follows me around like a puppy dog, he
must be really insecure about himself...

what I am trying to say is..suits cost money..can CL
be ordered to ban him so he will not continue to do
this, or after the suit is over, then he
continues posting again...

can a hold be placed on his domains?...
I am sure he would not be doing all this if his
own business is at risk...

Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 7 years ago.



If you win your case, this person would be made to pay you monetary damages. Further, a prohibitory injunction could be entered against him and he would directly be banned from posting these things with regard to you anymore. If he disobeyed the injunction, he could be fined, jailed, or both. If you have more questions, I will be happy to answer them. Please accept my answer so I can receive credit for helping you. Thanks!

Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6536
Experience: Civil; Family; HOA; Landlord/Tenant; Real Estate; Probate; Insurance; Immigration; Wills & Trusts
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