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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118656
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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PERSONAL REPUTATION QUESTION: FREEDOM OF PRESS. THE ARTICLES

Customer Question

PERSONAL REPUTATION QUESTION: FREEDOM OF PRESS. THE ARTICLES WRITTEN ARE NOT ENTIRELY FACTUAL.
ARE THEY STILL PROTECTED BY FREEDOM OF PRESS OR CAN I CHALLENGE THEM IN COURT???Hello my name is***** was arrested last September. The newspapers wrote (which is on google.com) what happened that terrible day. I am asking for professional advice on what actions I can take to repair my reputation. I have contacted a few internet reputation companies. 2 of them offer suppression of the articles and "adding" multiple positive articles to my name when I am searched. The 3rd company offers removal of the articles (by means I am unclear on).
So I clearly have to different options to choose from. Which one works better I do not know.
The fact that the newspaper article on me is not entirely true, does that give me leverage in getting what I want in the end? I will gladly explain the situation when some one answers this. Is there any other options I can take to better my reputation online and if yes, what and how? Thank you Kindly.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, unless you have proof that they knew the articles are false when they printed the story, it is not something you can sue them over in general. They get their information from the police reports and from the police officers and District Attorney. So as long as they did not fabricate the information knowingly, the most you can do is provide the correct information and ask for a retraction, but you cannot force one. This would not remove the articles from google searches though, so if if you want to use the service to remove the articles that would be the best option
The concerning part is when you say the article is "not entirely true" which means it has some truth and the rest is the "truth" according to the police who were involved or the DA or other witnesses to the standoff that happened and that is where reporters get their information and why they are only liable if they are publishing information they KNOW is false when they publish it.
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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Well they cant get everything right, which they didn't The most alarming thing they got wrong is the most serious. They stated I fired a Firearm through a window. I did not fire a firearm through a window it was through the wall. People seeing this will view it differently as to if it was an act of evil where I aimed and discharged a firearm out a window, or accidentally discharged it through my bedroom wall. Little things like this makes a difference, wouldn't you agree?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Well, discharging the firearm, whether through the window or the wall is the serious part. This would not be the type of difference that would give rise to any case against them though.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Firing out a window wouldn't have been an accident. Using a window with the intention of aiming at a target. Firing through a wall is less malicious and you cannot view through a wall, thus proving it was more of an accident. A good lawyer could debate that. Do you have any other options you can provide to me as to how to repair my reputation? The only two things I can think of is hiring a reputation site or changing my last name? What is your opinion on these choices? I appreciate your time and help!
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
I understand that you can debate intent v. accidental discharge. It is the firearm discharge that is the serious part, especially during a standoff.
The reputation sites is what we use for our office clients. We actually send our office clients to use reputation sites removal of negative online information.
You cannot change your name, because you need to do that through court and the court will not approve a name change for this purpose to avoid negative publicity from the news reports unless you are found not guilty of the incident. If found not guilty you can get your name changed.
Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.