Bochetto & Lentz represents victims of defamation. The internet has obviously drastically changed the harm caused by all defamation. Virtually all defamation these days appears on the internet, which unlike old print media defamation, means that the defamation will follow the victim in perpetuity as it may continue to show up in Google searches forever! This is a serious and difficult problem we encounter for our defamation clients. There are practical and legal solutions — like a positive SEO campaign or a negotiated agreement to remove (practical) or seeking court orders removing or de-indexing defamation (legal). But sometimes these strategies don’t work.
One concept that has recently begun to take hold in the industry is the Right to Be Forgotten, which is not the “law” in the United States (yet), but has been adopted by the European Union. Essentially, it obligates website companies to consider a defamatory victim’s request to remove derogatory content, and establishes a legal right to enforce in the courts. There are some website platforms in the United States that are voluntarily participating, though not nearly enough.
Recently, though, the Philadelphia Inquirer announced that it is implementing a Right to Be Forgotten program, calling it “Up for Review,” described as a “policy to consider requests to update or remove old stories… that may have caused unintended or lasting harm.”
We encourage anyone that may be a candidate to consider applying.
If any past, existing or new clients want help or assistance, please fill out the form on this page or call us. We’d be happy to assist.