Businesses and professionals always face the challenge of negative news articles and media coverage. The internet made things worse since negative news articles can go viral via social media platforms. Bad publicity is one of the most important things to deal with when you have a business. The good news is, there are ways to get rid of negative media coverage. For example, you can contact the websites directly, take legal actions, use SEO to outrank the bad news, or hire online reputation management (ORM) company to help you remove bad news articles from the search engines. In this article, we will show you how to remove negative news articles through legal actions. 1. Send a Cease-and-Desist Letter to the Website
One of the most common ways to remove negative news articles is to send the publisher a letter. You will explain why you need the article to be removed and how it affects your image. This way usually works, and the website corresponds to the letter and removes the negative news article to avoid getting into legal problems. But you need to know that the website will need strong reasons, especially if the article has false or misleading information or statements. In addition, you can attach a compliant draft along with your letter. After checking the article, your letter, and the legal compliant that is ready for filling, the website will act in three ways. • The website will remove the negative news article immediately to avoid litigations. Certain stories change over time. For example, if the negative news article is about someone who got arrested and the charges dropped, it is fair to update the story or remove the old news articles. • The website may ask an attorney to analyze the consequences of litigations if they did not remove your negative news articles. ORM companies usually have other ways to solve the problem. For example, they may ask the website to de-index the story from search engines such as Google or update it with the full truth. This works when the business provides proof that the article has misleading or inaccurate information. • Some websites agree to remove negative news articles for payments. 2. Filing a Lawsuit If the website is not willing to remove negative news articles after sending a letter, filing a lawsuit is the next step. Filling a lawsuit depends on many factors such as the facts, the laws of the state, and how bad the news article is. It is the best solution when the story is misleading or contains false information. You already have a problem; filing a lawsuit will not make things worse. Defamation lawsuits have a certain range of time, which varies from a state to another and ranges from one year to two years maximum starting from the date of publishing the article. Before filing a lawsuit, you need to know that it still may be difficult to remove negative news articles in certain states. The definition of defamation differs from one state to another. Make sure to attach all the facts and show how the negative news articles affect your business or image. However, you should consult a ROM company and an attorney who is an expert in such cases to determine whether filing a lawsuit is a good idea or not. 3. Defenses The First Amendment protects newspapers and media companies. Local laws, state constitutions, and other legislations guarantee the freedom of the press. They are allowed and protected by the law, to tell the truth, and publish news articles about anything. Even false news articles are protected in some states and certain cases. The only thing that matters in defamation is the truth. It is the best thing to defend yourself well. However, Fair Report laws could protect media companies against lawsuits if they reported misleading or false information. Legal actions can be taken if there is a bad intention or if the story is all about defaming someone or a certain business. Conclusion 'There is no such thing as bad publicity.' Well, this is not true. There is such thing called bad publicity and it is harmful to businesses and people. It is even more harmful when it is on the first pages of search engines and spread on social media platforms.