One post on Yelp, RipOffReport, or a fake profile on Grindr, and your life can be turned upside down in a heartbeat. In today’s online, connected world it doesn’t take much for your life or business to be severely damaged if you don’t take care of your reputation. But how can you go about doing it when someone has anonymously posted a review? Who can you go after to get it resolved?
Jason Hartman picks the brain of one of the most feared defamation lawyers in the United States, Neville Johnson, about just these things. Neville has protected stars like Nancy Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, Moody Blues, and John Lennon. He has some tips on how to properly approach the situation, what we might need to do as a society to change things, and what laws people (and companies) are hiding behind to protect their ability to defame you.
[1:17] How Neville started getting famous clients and get started in the defamation industry
[4:52] The importance of the Communications Decency Act, passed over 20 years ago, and the impact it still has today
[8:33] Fighting companies just to get them to observe the subpoena they were served
[11:26] Our justice system is so bogged down that it might take 2.5-3 years before you go to trial, and some examples of people settling their defamation suits
[16:07] A case in the California Supreme Court that potentially has serious ramifications
[20:04] The distinction between impersonation and anonymity, and what we do about anonymous postings
[22:02] Our defamation laws aren’t going to be easy to change because special interest groups have a lot of power, and the potential dangers Google poses