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I'm a business owner who is a professional member of an

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I'm a business owner...

I'm a business owner who is a professional member of an online organization for my profession that also has a forum. In general, most of the members who post to the forum are fellow business owners; however, sometimes the owner of a company that hires us for services will come onto the forum and post (usually because someone has posted that they did not pay or were 90 days or longer in paying, etc.). I've never experienced any difficulty of this nature, but a few days ago the owner of a company that hires us posted a false and libelous statement about me. The entire post was created for this personal attack (I was not to only one attacked in that post). There were many posts in response to it that supported my professionalism and a few that did not. Many professional members reported that post to the owners of the website though the standard reporting methods and strongly requested that it be removed (including myself). At the end of that day (08SEP17), I composed an email and sent it to the owners stating that the post by the owner of a company that hires us was false and libelous and asking for it and all responses to be removed; however, as of this AM (12SEP17) it remains available for viewing, reference and archived online for not only my peers but also my clients to view. I'd like to ask for assistance please.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Oklahoma

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

At the end of that day (08SEP17), I composed an email and sent it to the owners stating that the post by the owner of a company that hires us was false and libelous and asking for it and all responses to be removed; however, as of this AM (12SEP17) it remains available for viewing, reference and archived online for not only my peers but also my clients to view.

Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 36 minutes by:
9/12/2017
Lawyer: Maverick, Attorney replied 11 months ago
Maverick
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Lawyer: Maverick, Attorney replied 11 months ago

The online forum probably has a policy that you need to obtain and follow precisely to have the post removed; if that is an option provided for by the website/forum owner. However, most website/forum owners have a disclaimer that prevents them from being liable for false posts made by third parties since the website/forum owner is not in a position to readily ascertain who is being truthful and who is not. Your best bet here is to pay a local libel and slander attorney about $200.00 to send out what is known as a "cease and desist" letter asking for the post to be removed under the threat of a defamation action.

Here is a sample cease and desist letter you can modify and use if you cannot afford an attorney; but one sent out on attorney letterhead will have much more effect.

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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