"Please Help! I need my name removed from a website - STAT!"
As online reputation attorneys, we hear this plea -- a lot! And it’s no wonder, as the consumer-review, gripe and shaming website industry has exploded over the past 5 years. Forget Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame, if the gripe and gossip website trend continues, pretty soon, many people may have to deal with their 15 minutes of shame!
If your name or personal information does, unwittingly, find its way online, there are legal maneuvers you can make to abate the negative impact.
Websites From Which People Commonly Want Their Information Removed
Below is a list of popular consumer review, gossip, cheater and shame websites (updated weekly, so bookmark and check back often). Locate the site from which you want to remove your information, then read the potential course of action based on that platform’s policies.
Some websites require that people seeking name removal or redaction use an attorney as an intermediary. We do that.
|Website Name||Website URL||Website Description||Removal Advice|
|Angie's List||AngiesList.com||Angie's List features crowdsourced reviews of local businesses. The site is used primarily by construction, landscaping and home improvement businesses.||If people leave disparaging reviews on Angie's List under your company's name, first, try to contact the individual poster directly to work out a solution. If the post is profane or breaks the site's rules, you can report it. If it does break regulations, Angie's List will probably remove it. If the post is anonymous, an online defamation lawyer can motion for a subpoena that would force a related ISP to hand over identifying information. Once that info is in hand, you can write a letter to the author. If the content is genuinely defamatory, at this stage the poster usually removes it. No need for a lawsuit. Contact Us About Getting Info Removed From AngiesList.com »|
|TripAdvisor||TripAdvisor.com||The #1 travel review site in the world, TripAdvisor.com is the online mecca of hospitality industry testimonials and rants. Hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, and other travel businesses rely on TripAdvisor as a marketing tool.||A bad review on TripAdvisor can cause serious cash flow issues -- especially for smaller operations. If you're pelted with a defamatory review, first contact the author. Be lovely and try to work out a compensation that compels your detractor to remove the contentious comments. If they refuse, and the content is truly defamatory, contact an attorney that knows how to get libelous material removed from the Web. He or she will review the facts of your case and determine your best, next step. Contact Us About Getting Info Removed From TripAdvisor.com »|
|City Search||CitySearch.com||A pioneer online review platform, Citysearch has been up since 1995. Businesses, restaurants and jus about any other service you can think of are listed on regional Citysearch portals. Users leave reviews on company profile pages.||Some business owners have made comments that their profiles are littered with false and defamatory comments on Citysearch. The site user agreement says that administrators will not remove content on demand, and they are likely protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The best way to deal with Citysearch is to enlist the help of a lawyer who deals with online reputation issues. Though the site may balk at users, removal may be possible from search engines with a court order. An Internet lawyer can help get the needed court order. Contact Us About Getting Info Removed From CitySearch.com »|
|Zomato / Urbanspoon||Zomato.com /urbandspoon.com||Zomato acquired the Urbanspoon brand in 2015. The site is currently going through transitions. Essentially, it's a restaurant rating and review platform.||Since the company is currently in a transition phase, it's difficult to give suggestions on the best way to get your establishment removed from their records. Contact Us About Getting Info Removed From Zomato.com »|
|Yelp!||Yelp.com||Perhaps the most well-known online review platform, Yelp is arguably the second most important online review site, just behind Amazon.com.||Yelp is notorious for not taking reviews down and is not required to do so. If you're hit with a bad review on Yelp, first try to determine whether or not it is a real customer of yours. Some competitors will leave fake reviews to destroy your reputation. Next, if they are a real customer try to make amends with your detractors and see if they will change the review. If they are not a real customer, and the review is defamatory, contact Yelp with evidence showing that the review is false and is fake. If they do not remove, then contact a Yelp review removal attorney. Contact Us About Getting Info Removed From Yelp.com »|
|Insider Pages||InsiderPages.com||Insider Pages is a standard local review platform. Companies and services are listed, and consumers give feedback. From its website: "We strive to provide you with a better way to find a great dentist, hairstylist, pediatrician or even a hypnotherapist. So come back often and keep sharing your great reviews. " Businesses can choose to have a "sponsored" link which shows up at the top of results pages. Insider Pages is associated with Citysearch.||Insider Pages is willing to work with business owners. From its website: "if it looks like a review was written by a business or someone hired by said business we may remove it. The same goes for dishonest, slanderous “reviews” about your competitors. To report abuse please e-mail us at email@example.com with a link to the business profile page and indicate the review you're concerned with." Contact Us About Getting Info Removed From Insiderpages.com »|
|Bad Boy Report||badboyreport.kr||Bay Boy Report falls into the cheater shaming category of websites. Essentially, scorned people -- and their supporters -- upload the names and phone numbers of cheating men and women. (Note: Bad Boy Report is based outside the U.S.; thus, it may be more difficult for you to deal with them directly.)||Bad Boy Report does not deal with direct requests from people who've been posted on the site. From its website: "We do not remove reports, comments, posts and/or topics if you ask us directly. These will not be removed even if the statements are claimed to contain defamatory allegations, only the submitter or an arbitration service can remove a post here." Kelly / Warner is an arbitration service that helps people get defamatory posts removed from shame websites like Bad Boy Report. Contact Us About Getting Info Removed From BadBoyReport.com »|
|My Ex||MyEx.com||My Ex falls into the cheater shaming category. People upload the names and phone numbers of cheating men and women.||From the website: "Law Enforcement requests will be handled first, followed by minor removal requests, DCMA, and then general requests. As a general rule if you don’t want photos of you ending up on the internet be more careful who you send them too or better yet don’t send them at all." Interestingly, people who want to have their names removed from MyEx.com must fork over information. And note: in the statement, the operators don't promise to remove any information if requested. The only material they will remove immediately is pictures of minors. As far as getting your name removed from My Ex, first try to use their messaging system. If that doesn't work, or if they try to charge you money to remove the picture, contact an online reputation lawyer. Contact Us About Getting Info Removed From MyEx.com »|