The Internet has afforded the world a previously unimagined source of information and freedom of expression. But with this new media came the ability for anyone to attack others with instant global distribution. Before the Internet, a person's efforts to defame another were limited to their own social network. Now, at no cost, anyone can go onto the Internet and publish their defamation. Businesses, organizations and individuals suffer attacks on their reputation and good will, often from anonymous posters, or those claiming to be someone they are not.
Nothing is more valuable than your reputation. You should never allow a defamatory statement to go unchallenged. Silence is perceived as acceptance. If you do nothing about what is being said about you, it will be perceived as true. The goal in a defamation action can be to recover damages, but often that is not the primary goal. The priceless value of a defamation action is to gain back your reputation.
Stopping the defamation and restoring your good name takes a skilled approach. The technique utilized usually depends on what is motivating the person making the defamatory statements. If the person has no serious grudge against you, then a cease and desist letter from an attorney will probably stop the behavior and get the statements removed from the Internet. On the other hand, if the person is acting out of spite toward you, it may be necessary to file and serve a civil complaint. Just filing and serving the complaint for defamation is often sufficient to stop the defamation. Faced with having to defend a legal action, and knowing they cannot back up the false statements they have made, the defendant will want to settle the matter. If that is still insufficient, then it will be necessary to take the defendant to court obtain both money damages and an order from the court to cease the defamation.