We’re experiencing a trend in public profile search requests. Our attorney and corporate clients are requesting that we patrol cyberspace for negative press attributed to their firms. We conduct a comprehensive online sweep and return the results to our clients.
This cyer-vigilance of ones career is not limited to the legal field. Recently, a journalist, Lee Kaplan, was awarded $7,500 for “business interference” from a blogger with a overly critical interest in Mr. Kaplan’s journalism.
Lee Kaplan, a journalist who writes on Middle East controversies for (among other outlets) David Horowitz’s conservative Front Page, attracted the critical interest of a Berkeley student named Yaman Salahi, who set up a blog entitled Lee Kaplan Watchthat assails Kaplan and his work. Kaplan proceeded to sue Salahi on charges of “business interference” in small claims court, a venue lacking in the extensive fact-finding and procedural protections that would attach to a conventional suit for, say, defamation. Last month the court awarded Kaplan $7500. The blogosphere has begun to notice the story with some alarm: Seeing the Forest for the Trees, Dean’s World, Ann Althouse, Slashdot.
Casey Defamtion Suit
Aside from an interesting legal trend to follow, it is good business to know how your firm is being perceived. Seemingly small negative comments can snowball into creating a very damaging profile. There are steps that can be taken to secure and preserve your firm’s reputation.
1. Make sure your site’s information is current. It is a static online billboard.
2. If an employee or partner has been terminated, immediately remove his/her information from your site.
3. If your firm handles high-profile cases, ensure that daily online scans are conducted and that defamatory and or incorrect information is immediately addressed.
As fast as news travels online, we no longer have the luxury of waiting for things to “blow over”.
BNI Operatives: Street smart; Web savvy.
As always, stay safe.