• Find a Lawyer
  • Ask a Lawyer
  • Research the Law
  • Law Schools
  • Laws & Regs
  • Newsletters
  • Justia Connect
  • Pro Membership
  • Basic Membership
  • Justia Lawyer Directory
  • Platinum Placements
  • Gold Placements
  • Justia Elevate
  • Justia Amplify
  • PPC Management
  • Google Business Profile
  • Social Media
  • Justia Onward Blog
  • Online Defamation Law and Social Media

Negative statements about people or companies appear frequently on social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. If they are false statements of fact, they can be considered defamation in some circumstances, or more specifically libel because they are written statements. The ease of posting on social media and the absence of filters in many cases encourages users to post information or opinions that they might not post in a more formal setting. Comments sections on blogs or websites can feature personal attacks as well. Many news publications maintain an online presence, but they often do not monitor it closely. Automated screening systems cannot catch all instances of defamation, since their code is set to trigger upon finding certain words or phrases, such as obscenities.

Identifying Defamation Online

Sometimes people argue that a statement that is expressed as an opinion is not defamation. This is technically true, since defamation applies only to statements of fact. In some situations, however, a comment that may be phrased as a statement of opinion may be reasonably interpreted as a statement of fact. Just saying “I think” before making the defamatory comment does not necessarily shield the commenter from liability. Before you write something negative online, you should make sure that you understand the facts. You should not give the impression of knowing facts that you do not actually know but are merely inferring.

Not every negative comment is equally likely to result in a claim. You should be especially wary of making comments about a person’s private life or about their work. For example, a defamation claim is more likely when a comment attributes someone’s job loss to sexually harassing a coworker, or when a comment discusses a suspicion that domestic violence played a role in someone’s divorce. On the other hand, you are unlikely to be sued if you post a negative comment about someone’s clothes or hairstyle in an Instagram post. This is because this statement is subjective, and it likely will have no impact on the person’s reputation. If a situation seems borderline, it makes sense to refrain from commenting, since the risk is high and the reward is relatively low.

A statement may be defamatory even if it is framed as an opinion. For example, Anderson leaves a review on his dentist’s website saying, “I think Dr. Caine is practicing dentistry without a license.” Even if Anderson thinks that he has framed his statement as an opinion, Dr. Caine may have an argument that the average person would consider it a statement of fact.

You should be aware that once you have made a comment online, you may not be able to undo it. Even if you contact the administrator of the site to have it taken down, this does not count as a retraction that shields you from liability. You may be able to use the retraction defense, however, if you post a specific statement retracting the comment and apologizing for it in the same place where you posted the comment.

If a negative comment has a basis in truth, this is not defamation. Liability is only appropriate when the statement is untrue. Thus, even if someone does not appreciate your revealing their affair in a Facebook post, they have no grounds to sue you for revealing it if they are actually having the affair.

Limits on Liability

People who are victims of defamation often wonder whom they can sue in addition to the individual writer. The Communications Decency Act, a federal law, blocks liability for internet service providers or website hosts in most situations. In some cases, however, you may be able to sue the employer of the person who wrote the defamatory content. For instance, if a newspaper’s affiliated blog writes a false post that harms your reputation, you may have a claim against the newspaper in addition to the individual blogger. You should consult an attorney in your state to determine what your state’s law permits, as well as where you should sue someone who engaged in online defamation.

Justia offers a lawyer directory to simplify researching, comparing, and contacting attorneys who fit your legal needs.

Last reviewed October 2023

Personal Injury Law Center Contents   

  • Personal Injury Law Center
  • Child Injury Law
  • Class Action Lawsuits Based on Injuries
  • Public Officials in Defamation Legal Claims
  • Privileges and Other Legal Defenses to Defamation Lawsuits
  • Federal Tort Claims Act — Injury Lawsuits Against the Federal Government
  • Insurance Bad Faith Law
  • Intentional Torts and Personal Injury Lawsuits
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice Law
  • Motor Vehicle Accident Law
  • Proving Fault and Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits
  • Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence Law
  • Premises Liability Law
  • Sexual Abuse Law
  • What Types of Injuries Can Form the Basis for a Lawsuit?
  • Workplace Accident Law
  • Wrongful Death Law
  • Settlement Negotiations in Personal Injury Lawsuits
  • Tips for Working With a Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Personal Injury Law FAQs
  • Find a Personal Injury Lawyer

Related Areas   

  • Car Accidents Legal Center
  • Truck Accidents Legal Center
  • Birth Injuries Legal Center
  • Products Liability Law Center
  • Workers’ Compensation Law Center
  • Elder Law Center
  • Animal and Dog Law Center
  • Maritime Law Center
  • Aviation Law Center
  • Sports Law Center
  • Civil Rights and Discrimination Legal Center
  • Criminal Law Center
  • Insurance Law Center
  • Related Areas
  • Bankruptcy Lawyers
  • Business Lawyers
  • Criminal Lawyers
  • Employment Lawyers
  • Estate Planning Lawyers
  • Family Lawyers
  • Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Estate Planning
  • Personal Injury
  • Business Formation
  • Business Operations
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Trade
  • Real Estate
  • Financial Aid
  • Course Outlines
  • Law Journals
  • US Constitution
  • Regulations
  • Supreme Court
  • Circuit Courts
  • District Courts
  • Dockets & Filings
  • State Constitutions
  • State Codes
  • State Case Law
  • Legal Blogs
  • Business Forms
  • Product Recalls
  • Justia Connect Membership
  • Justia Premium Placements
  • Justia Elevate (SEO, Websites)
  • Justia Amplify (PPC, GBP)
  • Testimonials

Defamation Defenders Logo

Call us now at (800) 785-1749

How to Handle Negative Reviews on Facebook

The Ultimate Guide: How to Remove Negative Reviews from Facebook Effectively

Are negative reviews on Facebook damaging your brand's reputation? Don't worry, we've got you covered. In this ultimate guide, we will show you how to effectively remove negative reviews from Facebook and regain control over your online image. Whether you're a small business owner or a large corporation, understanding the tactics to handle negative feedback on social media is crucial to maintaining a positive online presence.

With our step-by-step approach, you'll learn practical techniques to address negative reviews head-on, while also protecting your brand's integrity. From conducting a thorough analysis of the review to crafting a polite and professional response, we'll guide you through the entire process.

But that's not all – we'll share valuable tips on preventing negative reviews in the first place. By implementing our proven strategies, you can create a positive customer experience that reduces the likelihood of negative feedback.

Don't let negative reviews define your brand. Get ready to take charge and turn a negative situation into an opportunity for growth. Let's dive in and discover how to remove negative reviews from Facebook effectively.

Table of Contents

The Importance of Online Reputation Management

In today's digital age, online reputation management plays a crucial role in the success of businesses. Your brand's reputation can directly impact customers' perception of your products or services. Negative reviews on Facebook can spread quickly and have a lasting impact on your online image. Therefore, it is vital to proactively manage and address any negative feedback to maintain a positive online reputation.

Managing your online reputation involves monitoring and responding to customer feedback, both positive and negative. By actively engaging with your audience, you demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction and show that you take their opinions seriously. This not only helps in resolving customer issues but also builds trust and loyalty.

To effectively manage your online reputation, it's essential to have a strategy in place. This includes monitoring social media platforms, review websites, and search engine results regularly. By staying proactive and addressing negative reviews promptly, you have a better chance of minimizing their impact and preserving your brand's reputation.

Understanding the Impact of Negative Reviews on Facebook

Negative reviews on Facebook can significantly impact your brand's reputation and customer perception. With millions of active users, Facebook serves as a prominent platform for customers to voice their opinions and experiences. A single negative review can reach a vast audience, potentially deterring potential customers from engaging with your business.

Negative reviews can damage your brand's credibility and affect customer trust. Research shows that consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. When potential customers come across negative reviews, they may question the quality of your products or services, leading to a decrease in sales.

Additionally, negative reviews can harm your search engine rankings. Search engines prioritize user-generated content, including reviews, when determining search results. If your brand has a significant number of negative reviews on Facebook, it can negatively impact your online visibility and organic traffic.

Therefore, it is crucial to address negative reviews on Facebook promptly and effectively to mitigate their impact on your brand's reputation.

Steps to Take Before Responding to Negative Reviews

Before responding to negative reviews on Facebook, it is essential to approach the situation strategically. Here are some steps you should take:

  • Analyze the Review : Thoroughly read and understand the content of the negative review. Identify the main issues raised by the customer and gather any additional information necessary for crafting a response.
  • Investigate the Matter : It's essential to gather all the facts about the customer's experience. Review any relevant records, such as order history or customer service interactions, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the situation.
  • Stay Calm and Objective : It's natural to feel defensive when faced with negative feedback, but it's crucial to remain calm and objective. Emotions can cloud judgment and hinder effective communication. Take a step back, and approach the situation with professionalism and empathy.

By following these steps, you'll be better prepared to respond to negative reviews on Facebook in a constructive and effective manner.

Best Practices for Responding to Negative Reviews on Facebook

When responding to negative reviews on Facebook, it's essential to follow best practices to ensure a positive outcome. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

  • Respond Promptly : Timely responses demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. Aim to reply to negative reviews within 24-48 hours to show that you take customer feedback seriously.
  • Personalize Your Response : Address the customer by name and personalize your response to show that you're genuinely listening and care about their concerns.
  • Acknowledge the Issue : Start your response by acknowledging the customer's complaint and expressing empathy. Let them know that you understand their frustration and are committed to finding a solution.
  • Offer a Solution : Provide a clear and concrete solution to the customer's problem. Offer alternatives or compensation if appropriate. Show that you are willing to go the extra mile to resolve the issue.
  • Maintain Professionalism : Always maintain a professional tone in your responses, even if the customer becomes hostile or aggressive. Avoid getting into arguments or engaging in negative exchanges. Stay focused on finding a resolution.

By following these best practices, you can effectively manage negative reviews on Facebook and demonstrate your dedication to customer satisfaction.

Utilizing Customer Service Skills in Your Responses

When responding to negative reviews on Facebook, it's crucial to utilize excellent customer service skills. Here are some tips to enhance your customer service approach:

  • Active Listening : Pay close attention to the customer's concerns and ensure that you understand their perspective. Repeat their main points to show that you are actively listening and value their feedback.
  • Empathy and Understanding : Show empathy towards the customer's frustration and acknowledge their feelings. Let them know that you understand their perspective and genuinely care about resolving their issue.
  • Positive Language : Use positive language in your responses to maintain a friendly and professional tone. Avoid defensive or confrontational language that may escalate the situation.
  • Offer Alternatives : If you cannot provide an immediate solution, offer alternative options to accommodate the customer. This shows that you are committed to finding a resolution and meeting their needs.

By incorporating these customer service skills into your responses, you can effectively address negative reviews on Facebook and turn unhappy customers into loyal advocates.

Strategies for Resolving Customer Complaints on Facebook

Resolving customer complaints on Facebook requires a strategic approach. Here are some strategies to help you handle customer complaints effectively:

  • Respond Publicly, Resolve Privately : While it's important to acknowledge the customer's complaint publicly, aim to resolve the issue privately. Provide contact details or encourage the customer to direct message you to continue the conversation offline. This protects the customer's privacy and allows for a more personalized resolution.
  • Offer Compensation or Discounts : In some cases, offering compensation or discounts can help appease unhappy customers. This gesture shows that you value their business and are willing to make amends for any inconveniences caused.
  • Follow Up : Once you have resolved the customer's complaint, follow up to ensure their satisfaction. This demonstrates your commitment to providing excellent customer service and helps build trust and loyalty.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively handle customer complaints on Facebook and turn negative experiences into positive ones.

Tips for Preventing Negative Reviews on Facebook

While it's essential to address negative reviews, it's equally important to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Here are some tips to help you prevent negative reviews on Facebook:

  • Deliver Exceptional Customer Service : Providing exceptional customer service is the best way to prevent negative reviews. Train your staff to go above and beyond to meet customer expectations. By delivering outstanding experiences, you reduce the likelihood of negative feedback.
  • Encourage Positive Reviews : Actively encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on Facebook. This can help counterbalance any negative reviews and boost your overall rating.
  • Monitor Online Mentions : Regularly monitor social media platforms and review websites for mentions of your brand. By staying proactive, you can address any potential issues before they escalate.
  • Implement Feedback Systems : Implement feedback systems, such as customer surveys or feedback forms, to gather insights on areas for improvement. By addressing customer concerns proactively, you can prevent negative reviews.

By following these tips, you can create a positive customer experience that reduces the likelihood of negative reviews on Facebook.

Tools for Monitoring and Managing Online Reviews

Managing online reviews can be challenging, especially if your brand has a significant online presence. Fortunately, there are several tools available to help you monitor and manage online reviews effectively. Here are some popular ones:

  • Social Mention : Social Mention is a free tool that allows you to monitor mentions of your brand across various social media platforms, including Facebook. It provides real-time insights, sentiment analysis, and keyword tracking.
  • Google Alerts : Google Alerts is a free tool that allows you to monitor mentions of your brand across the web. Set up alerts for your brand name and relevant keywords to receive notifications whenever your brand is mentioned online.
  • ReviewTrackers : ReviewTrackers is a comprehensive review management platform that helps businesses monitor and respond to reviews from multiple sources, including Facebook. It provides in-depth analytics and reporting to track your brand's online reputation.
  • Hootsuite : Hootsuite is a social media management tool that allows you to monitor and respond to reviews and mentions across multiple social media platforms, including Facebook. It provides a centralized dashboard for efficient review management.

By utilizing these tools and resources, you can streamline the process of monitoring and managing online reviews, ensuring that no negative feedback slips through the cracks.

Case Studies of Successful Negative Review Management on Facebook

To further illustrate the effectiveness of the strategies discussed, let's explore some real-life case studies of successful negative review management on Facebook:

  • le' Bakery Sensual : le' Bakery Sensual faced a series of negative reviews on Facebook due to a customer's complaint about a delayed cake delivery. By promptly responding to the review, acknowledging the customer's frustration, and offering a complimentary cake as compensation, le' Bakery Sensual turned the situation around. The customer was delighted with the resolution and updated their review to reflect their satisfaction.
  • Micro Center : Micro Center received a negative review on Facebook regarding a faulty product. The company responded promptly, expressing empathy and offering a replacement product. Micro Center also took the opportunity to highlight their exceptional customer service and commitment to resolving issues. The customer was impressed with the response and updated their review to commend Micro Center for their excellent customer support.

These case studies demonstrate the power of effective negative review management . By implementing the strategies discussed in this guide, you can turn negative situations into positive outcomes and enhance your brand's reputation on Facebook.

Conclusion: Taking Control of Your Online Reputation on Facebook

Negative reviews on Facebook can have a significant impact on your brand's reputation and customer perception. However, by following the step-by-step approach outlined in this ultimate guide, you can effectively remove negative reviews and regain control over your online image.

Remember to approach negative reviews strategically, analyze the feedback, and respond promptly and professionally. Utilize customer service skills to address customer concerns, and implement strategies to prevent negative reviews in the first place.

By monitoring and managing online reviews using the recommended tools and resources, you can proactively protect your brand's reputation and ensure a positive customer experience.

Don't let negative reviews define your brand. Take charge, implement the strategies outlined in this guide, and turn negative situations into opportunities for growth. With the right approach, you can remove negative reviews from Facebook effectively and maintain a positive online presence.

We build trust through reputation.

facebook review defamation

Enter Search Term

[guide] how to report libel and slander on facebook.

by Matt Earle | Mar 4, 2022 | General

Libel Slander on Facebook

Facebook is the world’s most-used social media network, and that means it has all the highs and lows of human society encased in its digital walls. For every fun interaction, witty joke, humorous meme, or pleasant conversation with a friend, there’s the risk of someone posting something insulting about you in a public space.

If you’re a business owner, a high-profile public figure, or even just an individual, you’re probably concerned about the things people say about you online. While some things can be shrugged off like a “yo momma” joke, others can be highly damaging, even to the point of costing you your job, a job prospect, a relationship, or more.

It’s no surprise, then, that you might want to take action against this kind of content. The question is, how can you do it?

Can You Report Defamation on Facebook?

First of all, it’s worth asking the question: can you even report defamation on Facebook? After all, they’re a massive corporation with a reputation for making it difficult or impossible to contact their over-stressed, over-worked, underpaid support staff.

Luckily, in this case, the answer is yes.

Facebook’s defamation process is fairly robust and with good reason: actual defamation of character can be a serious legal matter, and they don’t want to get caught up in it.

Reporting Defamation on Facebook

The trouble is, a lot of what people report as “defamation” isn’t really defamation of character at all. Defamation has to meet specific legal criteria. It’s like wine; it has to come from the Defamation region of legal code; otherwise, it’s just sparkling insults.

With that in mind, and with the fact that Facebook social media platform has billions of users, many of whom will happily hammer the reporting system until they get their way, Facebook’s front line of defense is algorithmic sorting. So, your defamation report has to get past the robots first before a real human can look at it and make a determination.

Let’s dig into the process, talk about what options you have available to you, and when you should consider a stronger legal action.

What Constitutes Reportable Defamation?

Defamation, made up of slander and libel, is a semi-complicated legal definition for a specific kind of speech that is not protected under various laws and rights to free speech around the world. While laws and the exact definition can vary slightly between the U.S., Canada, and other regions, it’s generally similar.

  • Defamation : A statement made against you or your business that is false, makes a tangible claim, and causes actual harm.
  • Slander : Defamation that takes the form of an intangible statement, like something spoken aloud during a public address. Technically, video and live-streamed content is slander.
  • Libel : Defamation that takes the form of a tangible statement, like a post on a social network.

Facebook content can be both slander and libel; for example, libel on Facebook is for text posts and slander for video content. Either way, the method for handling them is the same.

What Constitutes Reportable Defamation

In order for a false statement to be considered defamation (rather than just insulting or vulgar statements), it needs to meet four criteria.

  • It has to be presented as a statement of fact . This requires context, more so than specific phrasing.
  • It has to be posted to a third party . A post on Facebook can be defamatory; a direct message to you cannot.
  • The intent of the post has to be to defame you, damage your reputation, and disregard evidence to do it .
  • There must be tangible damages you can demonstrate .

Note that these are the requirements for a legal suit; you have to prove each of them in order to successfully win a lawsuit against the poster. The standards are generally lower for getting a post removed from Facebook via their reporting system.

You can read more about the definitions, differences, and requirements in our complete guide here .

How to Handle the Process of Reporting Defamation on Facebook

The actual process for users handling defamation on Facebook is a little more complicated than clicking the “report” button and filling it out.

Step 0: Lay the Groundwork

If you’re planning to report content for defamation, or if you’re planning to do something stronger, like filing a defamation lawsuit, you need to take steps ahead of time.

Stay calm . Getting angry makes you make bad decisions, and acting rashly can do more harm than good, both to your case and to your reputation.

Don’t reply, message, or engage with the person posting these materials . Doing so has a range of detrimental effects, including:

  • Risking them blocking you so you can’t see further defamatory content.
  • Making you look worse via your replies and/or validating their claims through your behavior.
  • Amplifying their message to people who can see your comments but wouldn’t otherwise see theirs.

Responding to the defamatory or acknowledging the content in defamatory post in any way is liable to leave you in a worse position.

Hit by Defamation Claims

Preserve the evidence. If you call out or file suit against the defamer, they might remove the content. If no evidence exists, it can be difficult to prove the posts existed without substantial work. Taking screenshots or video can be an important part of the process. You may need to use a third-party utility to download videos if necessary.

Increase your privacy settings. Facebook gives you a lot of control over who can see what you post. Increasing this privacy can help insulate you against people who would use the defamatory statements to attack you or against people who would use social media platforms to “research” you. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really directly help in a defamation situation, but it’s also not a bad idea to do in general. Sadly, if you’re a business or public figure, you don’t have many options.

Be cautious with other advice. Some people will urge you to block the people defaming you. Sometimes, this is a good idea; if a person is posting defamatory content on your wall, blocking them can prevent them from doing so. On the other hand, this comes with risks. Blocking the user means you can’t see future content they post, but that doesn’t mean no one else can. If blocking them helps you maintain self-control, do so. If not, keeping them visible so you can see what other evidence they post for themselves may be the better option.

Step 1: Determine what you’re reporting.

You need to determine two things. First, you need to make a list of the content you’re reporting. This can be videos, text posts, comments, images, and anything else someone posts about you, on your wall or on theirs, in a public or private group; anywhere you can access it.

Determining Reportable Content

Second, you need to determine why you’re reporting it. Luckily, a defamation suit really isn’t the only option here.

  • Defamation is obvious; if you believe the statements are actually defamatory, you can use the defamation reporting tool.
  • Violation of Facebook community rules. If a post or piece of content is abusive or harmful to you but is not technically or legally defamatory, you can still report it as a violation of bullying, harassment, or other rules.

Once you have made this determination, you can decide what steps to take next.

Step 2: Report the Content

Once you’ve determined which kind of reporting you need to do, it’s time to do so.

To report specific content, you need to navigate to that content on Facebook. Find the person, post or video responsible. There will be a menu button to click, with “report this content” as the final option. When you click this button, you will see a variety of options, including nudity, violence, harassment, false information, spam, hate speech, terrorism, and more.

Reporting the Content

If you believe that the content posted is not actually a defamatory statement or would not hold up in court, but it can constitute harassment, bullying, or other kinds of social assault, reporting the content via the Harassment, False Information, or Something Else > Bullying options can be the way to go.

  • Harassment requires that the person be aggressively posting at you, degrading or shaming you, calling for self-injury, using derogatory terms, and so on.
  • False information requires the information to be false (obviously) and has you pick a category and verify that the content violates Facebook policies and community standards.
  • Bullying has the lowest standards but the lowest penalties.

It’s also worth mentioning that Facebook gives more protection to minors and to private citizens than to public figures or businesses. It’s difficult to use the reporting system to remove critical business reviews that aren’t defamatory statements, for example.

On the other hand, if you believe the content is defamatory , you can instead use Facebook’s Defamation Reporting Form . To use this form, you must first select the country you’re in. If you’re in Canada, you can then click an option for who you’re reporting for (yourself, your business, someone else) and fill out the form. The defamation reporting form includes your name, mailing address, list of offending URLs, and any additional information you would like to submit.

In the United States, you, unfortunately, do not have this option. If you select the U.S., you will see this:

“Facebook is not in a position to adjudicate the truth or falsity of statements made by third parties, and consistent with Section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act, is not responsible for those statements. As a result, we are not liable to act on the content you want to report. If you believe content on Facebook violates our Community Standards (e.g., bullying, harassment, hate speech), please visit the Help Center to learn more about how to report it to us.”

If this is the case, you will need to instead consult with a lawyer to pursue an actual defamation claim.

Step 3: Wait and Move On

Sadly, there’s not much you can do other than wait once you’ve submitted a report. Ideally, after a few days have passed, Facebook will agree with your position and will remove the content. Unfortunately, they will often take weeks or months before “investigating” and then take no action.

Waiting and Moving On

At this point, you have to decide whether to take the matter to a lawyer or let it go. If you believe you can prove tangible damages to your reputation or personal life (such as having lost a job or job opportunity, or lost customers who cited the post as a reason why), you can go to a lawyer. Otherwise, it might not be possible to prove damages and thus not worth your time and energy.

What Else Can You Do?

If you’re trying to fight defamation on Facebook, your best option may be to contact a reputation management firm like us. We have experience in handling all manner of statements, from the merely vulgar and insulting to actual harassment and bullying to legal defamation. We’re also adept at using Facebook’s systems to achieve the desired outcome.

There are many different techniques available to you to handle a social media post with a reputation issue that doesn’t meet the legal definitions of defamation. On the other hand, if the social media posts are more likely to meet the legal definitions of defamation, slander, or libel, you can consult with a lawyer as well. A defamation lawsuit may not be easy to serve or process, and it may not come cheap, but it’s by far the most permanent solution.

Reputation Management Firm

If you’re an individual facing serious online defamation, a lawsuit is most likely the way to go. If you’re a business, it might be better to opt for reputation management, review-building, SEO, marketing, and other techniques to instead suppress and bury the negative content under a flood of positive reviews and testimonials. After all, the more attention and platform you give to negative content – including suing over it – the more of a spread it gains.

It’s important to note that every situation is unique. We can’t give you perfect advice in a blog post because we don’t have all the facts. If you want an expert eye to take a look at your situation and offer advice, feel free to contact us today . We know you’re in a tough situation, and we’re here to help. Additionally, if you ever have any questions regarding reputation management overall, do not hesitate to reach out and contact us as well! We would be more than happy to assist you in answering your reputation management questions however we possibly can!

FAQ for Libel or Slander on Facebook

How do I report libel and slander on Facebook? A: To report libel and slander on Facebook, you can click “find support or report” on the specific post or comment that contains the defamatory content. You can also fill out the defamation reporting form provided by Facebook. Can I sue for defamation on Facebook? A: Yes, if you have been a victim of social media defamation on Facebook, you can sue for defamation. It’s advisable to seek legal advice from a law firm specializing in social media defamation cases like Minc Law to understand your options and the steps you can take.

What are the elements of defamation of character on Facebook? A: To prove defamation of character on Facebook, you must show that there was a false and defamatory statement made about you, it was published to a third party, and it resulted in harm to your reputation or caused you some form of damage.

How can I deal with social media slander on Facebook? A: Dealing with social media slander on Facebook involves taking proactive steps such as reporting the defamatory content to Facebook, seeking legal counsel to understand your options, and potentially taking legal action against the perpetrator of the slanderous content.

What steps can I take if I am a victim of online defamation on Facebook? A: If you are a victim of online defamation on Facebook, you can begin by documenting the defamatory content, reporting it to Facebook, seeking legal advice from a defamation law firm, and considering legal action to protect your rights and seek damages for the harm caused.

Can a Facebook post or comment be considered libel or slander? A: Yes, a Facebook post or comment can be considered an act of libel or slander if it contains false and defamatory statements about an individual or entity, which can harm their reputation or cause them damage in some way.

What are the defenses to a defamation lawsuit related to Facebook posts? A: Defenses to a defamation lawsuit related to Facebook posts may include truth as a defense (if the statement is true), opinion or fair comment, and the absence of actual malice if the plaintiff is a public figure. It’s important to seek legal advice to understand the specific defenses applicable to your case.

If someone has defamed me on Facebook, can I sue them for personal injury? A: Yes, if someone has defamed you on Facebook and it has caused you harm, you may be able to sue for personal injury. Consulting with a law firm with experienced attorneys who in social media defamation cases can help you understand the legal options available to you.

What are the types of defamation that can occur on Facebook? A: The types of defamation that can occur on Facebook include libel (written defamation) through posts or comments, and slander (spoken defamation) through audio or video content shared on the social media platform.

How does the First Amendment affect defamation cases related to Facebook posts? A: The First Amendment may provide protection for free speech, but it does not shield individuals from liability for making false and defamatory statements. When it comes to defamation cases related to Facebook posts, the First Amendment rights must be balanced with the legal rights of the plaintiff who has been defamed.

Get Free Reputation Management Tips to Your Inbox!

Related posts.

Remove Info MyLife

Recent Blogs

  • Mastering Gratitude: How to Respond to Positive Reviews Effectively Mar 28, 2024
  • Mastering Reputation Management on Social Media: Essential Strategies for 2024 Mar 26, 2024
  • Understanding Reputation vs Brand: Navigating the Nuances for Business Success Feb 26, 2024
  • Safeguarding Your Image: Proactive Strategies for Reputation Risk Management Feb 12, 2024
  • Mastering Reputation Management with SEO: Tactics for Crafting an Outstanding Brand Image Jan 30, 2024

Speak with a Professional:

Phone Number

Your Message (optional)

Forget Password

Having trouble signing in.

Invalid Email or Email does not register

We have sent new password on your registered Email.

What is RepuSure®?

Thank You for Choosing RepuSure®! The best way to monitor and manage your online reputation.

You will have 15 days to set up your account, start testing the software, and getting reports of your online reputation.

In your next step, you will set up your first search keywords to watch. Don’t worry, you can add additional campaigns later.

Once your Account is set up, you’ll need to classify the content that comes up as positive or negative and that’s it. You will get reports on any changes to your content rankings. If you have signed up for our service, we are already at work to help get your positive content ranking higher and this software is included with your service. Please just follow the steps and reach out to your Account Representative if you have any questions.

facebook review defamation

To watch a video of how our software works click here .

First you need to tell us what search terms people use to Google your company or name. + show more This will be your Base Search Term and then you can also add a couple variations people use. E.g. my base search term is “matt earle” and then my Refinement 1 is “matt earle toronto” (the city I live in) and then my Refinement 2 is “matt earle reputation.ca” (the company I am associated with). Please give it some thought and add yours below. + show less

Capturing the screenshots. This may take a few minutes.

Man giving bad business review with thumbs down

Can I Sue for Bad Reviews Against My Business?

Online reviews play a vital role in the growth and revenue of any business . The vast majority of customers read reviews to determine the quality of a business.  

While a good review can help boost your brand reputation, a negative review can also cause significant harm to your business. If you or your business has sustained reputational damage due to a bad review, you may be eligible to take legal action against the reviewer and pursue compensation for your losses.  

Depending on the quality of products or services received from a business, customers are permitted to leave online reviews. Typically, the review will describe the customer's experience, thereby helping potential customers make informed buying decisions. However, if the statement is false or defamatory, a business can pursue legal action against the reviewer for posting intentionally misleading or negative reviews. 


In 2015, Footprints Floors, a flooring company in Colorado, sued a couple for a negative review posted on Yelp. The company claimed that the review was false, and it cost them 167 projects and $625,000 in revenue. The couple eventually racked up $65,000 in legal fees, including a settlement payment of $15,000 to the company. This and many more examples have set legal precedents across the country for businesses to sue their customers for bad reviews. 

Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA)

The Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 was enacted to protect customers from unjustified punishment and intimidation by businesses for posting honest reviews. According to the Act, it is illegal for a company to use a contract provision which: 

Restricts a customer's ability to review a company's products, services, or conduct. 

Imposes a penalty, fine, or fee against a customer that gives a review. 

Requires customers to relinquish their intellectual property rights in the review. 

This Act not only safeguards the fundamental right to free speech but also ensures transparency in consumer-business interactions. By protecting the authenticity of online reviews, the CRFA encourages honest dialogue about products and services, thereby enabling consumers to make more informed decisions.  

Moreover, this balance of power encourages businesses to maintain high standards as they can no longer silence or penalize customers for unflattering, yet truthful reviews, which in turn contributes to a healthier, more competitive market. 

California's Anti-SLAPP Statute

California's anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) laws are designed to provide relief to SLAPP lawsuits.  

The statute helps prevent people or businesses from using unfounded lawsuits, courts, or potential threats of a lawsuit, to intimidate and silence customers or other people from exercising their right of petition or free speech under the First Amendment. Hence, if a reviewer is being sued for posting a bad review, they can file a petition requesting that the court dismiss the lawsuit on the basis that it lacks merit. 

The Difference: Defamation vs. Bad Review

Defamation can be described as a false statement presented as a fact that ends up causing injury or damage to the reputation of a person, business, or entity. For instance, if a statement is false, and a business loses customers due to the false statement, it may be considered defamation. Defamation can be in the form of libel or slander, and it can be bad for any business. 

Conversely, a bad review is a negative review that reflects the poor first-hand experience of a customer with a company's product or services. Negative reviews may either be a good negative review or a bad negative review. For instance, an honest and unbiased review of a product explains the problem with the product upon using it. 

Types of Defamation

Defamation can take two forms: libel and slander. 

Libel refers to false or defamatory statements expressed through various mediums such as writing, pictures, signs, print, or any other physical form of communication. 

Slander , on the other hand, involves false or defamatory statements conveyed orally, typically through speech. 

Both libel and slander can harm a person's reputation and are considered legal offenses. It is important to be aware of the potential consequences of making false statements that can damage someone's character or standing in the community. 

How to Prove Defamation

In order to prove defamation, the plaintiff must show the following key elements: 

The defendant made a false statement claiming to be factual. 

The defendant communicated or published the false statement to a third party. 

The statement was unprivileged or non-confidential. 

The defamatory statement resulted in harm, injury, or other losses to the defamed party (plaintiff). 

Considering Suing for a Bad Review?

In California, reviews are protected under the First Amendment Act or Anti-SLAPP statute. Therefore, before you can sue for a bad review, you should determine if the review would qualify as defamation or whether it would be protected by free speech under the First Amendment Act. 

What Will You Need to Prove?

To sue for a negative review, you will prove that the statement qualifies as defamation. This requires that the statement satisfies the following elements: 

It was a false statement. 

It was published to a third party (someone other than the person who brought the case). 

It was made as a statement of fact, rather than opinion. 

It injured the reputation of the defamed party. 

It was not a privileged or confidential review. 

For instance, consider a scenario where a disgruntled customer posts a review claiming that a restaurant has violated health codes by having pests in their kitchen. If this claim is entirely fabricated and the restaurant subsequently undergoes an inspection that finds the premises in exemplary condition, the restaurant owner may have grounds to claim the review is defamatory.  

They would need to demonstrate that the false statement of fact—that the restaurant violated health codes—was published to third parties (potential customers reading the review) and caused the restaurant reputational damage and potential loss of business.  

The review, being a false claim of fact rather than an opinion, is not protected under the First Amendment or Anti-SLAPP legislation. This would satisfy the criteria for defamation and allow the restaurant to consider legal recourse to protect its business interests. 

Possible Damages

The following damages may be recovered in a defamation lawsuit: 

Actual or compensatory damages for the actual lost earnings caused by the false statement or defamation. 

Non-economic damages to serve as compensation for the company's damaged reputation. 

Mitigating damages to reduce the loss suffered by the company. 

Punitive damages to further punish the reviewer. 

Enlist an Experienced Lawyer You Can Trust

At the end of the day, your brand reputation is crucial to the success of your business. A negative review can affect your business' growth and revenue. Therefore, if you believe that a reviewer has made a defamatory statement against your business, hiring an experienced commercial litigation attorney immediately is important to protect your legal rights and help you seek justice. 

Attorney William B. Hanley has the necessary experience and resources to assist and represent individuals and businesses considering a defamation lawsuit.  

Using his hands-on approach and comprehensive legal understanding, attorney William B. Hanley will review the defamatory statement, work to prove its inaccuracy and gather substantial evidence to support your case. As your legal counsel, he will fight vigorously to protect your rights and pursue fair financial compensation for any harm done to the reputation and success of your business. 

If you believe you have a case, call William B. Hanley, Attorney at Law today to schedule a one-on-one case evaluation. He can offer you the detailed legal counsel, reliable advocacy, and strong representation you need in your case.  

Bill is proud to serve clients across Irvine, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego, California — so call or reach out today to learn more about how he can help with your case.

facebook review defamation

Defamation Lawsuit Over Facebook Reviews Partially Dismissed

By Janet Miranda

Janet Miranda

A man who allegedly solicited false Facebook reviews against his former employer and residential construction firm rival partially won a bid to dismiss a defamation lawsuit, because the Texas anti-SLAPP law protected this speech, a state court of appeals said Thursday.

Infinity Custom Construction LLC sued Michael J. McCarthy and his business Heavenly Homes of South Texas LLC, alleging that he had defamed it online and in text messages to clients, and knowingly filed a false wage claim complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission in 2019, the Texas Court of Appeals, Thirteenth District said.

McCarthy contended that all his actions ...

Learn more about Bloomberg Law or Log In to keep reading:

Learn about bloomberg law.

AI-powered legal analytics, workflow tools and premium legal & business news.

Already a subscriber?

Log in to keep reading or access research tools.

Florida animal sanctuary owner, ‘Tiger King’ celeb, faces defamation suit. Who is Carole Baskin?

facebook review defamation

Sometimes a name can bring back a flood of memories without warning. For example, just saying " Tiger King " can bring back from mixed reactions from March of 2020 .

Four years and a whole pandemic later, Netflix’s hit documentary “ Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness " is still seeing drama unfold.

Currently, one of its biggest stars, Tampa's Carole Baskin, is still making headlines for a defamation lawsuit that ties in the questionable disappearance of her late-husband. Need to catch up the latest updates or just need a refresh on the Tiger King lore? We got you covered.

Who is Carole Baskin?

Carole Baskin is an animal rights activist and CEO of Big Cat Rescue , a non-profit animal sanctuary based near Tampa. However, many might know her more from her appearance on the Netflix documentary.

At the very least, you might remember her iconic catchphrase. "Hey, all you cool cats and kittens" became a meme following the show's premiere.

In addition to showcasing her long-running feud with Joe Maldonado, or as he is more commonly known, “Joe Exotic,” the show also highlighted her rocky relationships. Especially her second marriage to Don Lewis, who went missing in 1997 and was declared legally dead five years later.

Lewis’s disappearance remains an open case to this day. Many speculate that Baskin had something to do with Lewis's disappearance, particularly his children. Baskin has maintained her innocence over the years.

Why is Baskin facing a defamation suit?

According to past AP reports , a defamation lawsuit was filed in state court in Tampa back in 2020 by Don Lewis’ three daughters, Donna Pettis, Lynda Sanchez, and Gale Rathbone, as well as his former assistant, Anne McQueen.

The lawsuit claims Baskin defamed McQueen by posting video diary entries on YouTube where she claimed McQueen embezzled money from her and her then-husband, Lewis. Because of this, Baskin said McQueen played a role in Lewis’ disappearance.

Reports also explained Lewis's daughters were seeking a “pure bill of discovery,” which would allow information in a case to be gathered before a civil complaint is filed.

“Despite contentions to the contrary, the truth has never been explored in any court and there is a good faith basis to believe the truth will open up many viable remedies,” the lawsuit said. Continuing, the lawsuit said the pure bill of discovery “will be useful to identify potential defendants and theories of liability and to obtain information necessary for meeting a condition precedent to filing suit."

In response, Baskin said the case was without merit because she was protected by free speech provisions. She also highlighted McQueen failed to provide proper notice of her intent to sue as required in lawsuits against publications, broadcasters and other media.

How have the courts ruled in Baskin's defamation lawsuit?

Initially, a trial judge ruled in favor of Baskin and dismissed the case. According to AP, the judge claimed Baskin was a "media defendant" and that her statements were protected by free speech provisions under state law.

However, an appellate court reversed parts of that decision recently. It was determined that Baskin's claims were not protected speech and her postings and video entries fell short of what is considered a media defendant in the way newspapers and broadcasters are protected.

What is next for Baskin's defamation lawsuit?

Last month, Baskin asked the Florida Supreme Court to reconsider its earlier denial of her appeal in the defamation case brought by McQueen. A provision of the Florida Constitution and the U.S. Constitution conflicts with the appellate court’s ruling, Baskin claimed in her filing.

The Florida Supreme Court has yet not released a date to review Baskin's request.

Speaking of Tiger King drama, what ever happened to Joe Exotic?

According to reports, Maldonado is making the most of his time at the Santa Rosa County Jail in Milton.

The 61-year-old animal handler and reality star was booked into jail back in March of this year. For those who need to catch up, he was found guilty back in 2019 on two counts of hiring someone to kill Baskin, eight counts of violating the Lacey Act by falsifying wildlife records and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act after it was discovered that he killed five tigers and sold tigers across state lines.

He was originally sentenced to 22 years in prison but a federal appeals court ruled in 2021 a mistake was made and he was tried again. Maldonado was resentenced to 21 years in January 2022. In between the two decisions, he announced he has prostate cancer .

Joe Exotic: Says he's fighting cancer, meeting fans and enjoying the food in Santa Rosa Jail

In the meantime, he is preparing to appear in court for an upcoming civil hearing in a case set in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Maldonado launched a civil lawsuit against musician Vince Johnson and several businesses over alleged copyright infringement and breaches of confidential agreements related to "musical compositions that contractually belong to Maldonado."

The News Journal spoke with Maldonado in a jailhouse interview over the phone, where he detailed the amount of video and phone call requests coming in for him since he arrived.

“I am shocked how popular I am down here for only living here three months,” Maldonado said. “But let me tell you, this video machine is going off every 15 minutes. I'm almost ashamed because the other inmates don't get to use this video machine enough because I'm constantly on it from people calling in.”

Can I still watch 'Tiger King' on Netflix?

In case you missed it four years ago, viewers can still watch the infamous true crime documentary streaming on Netflix. It currently has two seasons, with 13 episodes altogether.

The show also inspired a scripted mini-series titled " Joe vs. Carole ," with actor John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic and comedian Kate McKinnon as Baskin. You can stream the entire series on Peacock.

Contributing reporting: Brandon Girod, Pensacola News Journal

In five words Justice Lee brought Lehrmann's defamation case back to its central proposition. The words of our political leaders matter, too

Analysis In five words Justice Lee brought Lehrmann's defamation case back to its central proposition. The words of our political leaders matter, too

Close up of Brittany Higgins with her head down.

It took Justice Michael Lee 324 pages and 130,000 words to dissect the complexities of the story of what happened to Brittany Higgins in the early hours of March 23, 2019, but also what happened as a result of her decision to go to the media about the assault, rather than pursue a police complaint.

For Brittany Higgins, and the thousands of women who were galvanised by her story, the words that mattered most from Justice Lee were these ones at paragraph 620 of his judgment:

"Mr Lehrmann raped Ms Higgins."

They weren't just important because a judge, "on the balance of probabilities", had believed Higgins over the man she accused of raping her, Bruce Lehrmann.

They were important because they brought the Higgins story back to its central proposition after more than three years when it had become the subject of political and culture wars and of an unrelenting attack on Higgins in some sections of the media.

The finding came after what had come to be seen as a flawed criminal, and ultimately abandoned, trial where Lehrmann, as was his right, didn't have to testify but Higgins was subjected to the intense cross-examination that any woman making such a claim must face while an alleged perpetrator is not questioned.

That the rape took place in the office of a cabinet minister in Parliament House always meant this story would have political overtones and ramifications, even without what Justice Lee found was a flawed claim by Higgins that she had been forced to choose between making a complaint and her career.

The case tested — and largely found wanting — the political leaders of the day in their attitudes and grasp of the complex issues involved here, even at a time when then, as now, political leaders lament the horrendous levels of violence perpetrated against women by men in Australia.

A 'crisis of male violence'

It also exposed a continuing hostility to women in the broader Australian community which, in memorable historic moments of national controversy, has seen women too eagerly cast as liars, whatever the nature of the issue that has brought them to public attention.

Think Lindy Chamberlain, our first female prime minister Julia Gillard, and Higgins as three particular examples of this.

That such views continue — even amid a shocking level of domestic violence which is regularly lamented by our political leaders — is only highlighted by a "Presumption of Innocence" conference set down for June which, until this week, Lehrmann was due to address as the headline act.

Its promoters say it will "challenge the believe-all-women ideology which has meant men and women are treated very differently in our criminal law system".

On the day Higgins's allegations appeared in the media in 2021, the then prime minister, Scott Morrison, rose to say he wanted the parliament "to take a moment to remember Hannah Clarke and her three children, Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey" who had been murdered by Clarke's estranged husband a year earlier.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison Pfizer extra doses announcement

"The most important thing we can do in this place is, of course, do everything we can," he said. "As the leader of the opposition and I know, these issues are above politics, thankfully. We must do all we can to prevent family violence."

There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of Morrison's sentiments about family violence. And there have been countless reviews, inquiries and interventions in recent years to do something about it.

Yet more than one woman a week is being killed by someone close to her — to the point where many of these horrendous crimes aren't even a major story on the day. And not all the violence is family violence.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said on Friday that " there is a crisis of male violence in Australia ".

Asked how men could take a bigger role in addressing this, Dreyfus said, "I think by men in positions of leadership, and you're starting to see that, calling it out, and by men everywhere in society, acknowledging that this is a problem for men".

"We have to talk to our sons, we have to talk to our colleagues. We've got to acknowledge it as a problem for men."

An uncomfortable truth

Which brings us back to the role of our political leaders.

Justice Lee criticised many aspects of Higgins's claims that there had been a cover up of her assault, particularly as they related to the actions of her then chief-of-staff, Fiona Brown, and minister Linda Reynolds.

These mainly emerged in the judgment in terms of what they said about Higgins's overall reliability on the witness stand. While he was critical of what she said about the cover up, he ultimately believed her evidence about the night of the assault.

Given the defamation case concerned the question of whether Lehrmann had been defamed, it did not go further into who knew what about what had happened.

The questions of who knew what in the prime minister's office and — critically — what was done about it, was not interrogated.

It remains the case that no one felt it necessary to tell the PM that a young woman working for his government had been assaulted in an office not far from his own.

There is an uncomfortable truth here though that, whatever the story was about who said what to who about Higgins within the Morrison government, what most Australians would have taken away from the whole affair was not those details, but the various public reflections of the prime minister of the day.

Morrison's comments — he said his wife had explained the significance of Higgins's claims to him, and later, that the women who marched in their thousands were lucky not to have been met with guns  — would have to rank as some of the more tin-eared observations of recent times.

The fact that the government had not responded to the Sex Discrimination Commissioner's report on workplace harassment for more than year at the time of the Higgins revelations also sent a message to women from a workplace which should have been both our safest and a standard setter.

Politicians' words give licence to attitudes

Jump forward to this week and the man who replaced Morrison as leader of the federal Coalition, Peter Dutton.

As journalist Samantha Maiden — who broke the original story in 2021 — observed this week of Dutton's response to Justice Lee's findings:

There were no words of support for the young woman who once worked for the Liberal Party, in response to such a grave and serious finding. Instead, the Liberal leader had this to say. He didn't even mention Ms Higgins' name. "Well, I think Linda Reynolds has absolutely been vindicated".

Reynolds, he went on, "a person of great honour and integrity", had seen her reputation "besmirched".

Linda Reynolds perth court

Can politicians and governments change social attitudes or even stop people doing horrendous things to each other?

Perhaps not. But their words give licence to attitudes and help frame debate. As do those of powerful voices in the media.

This week, sections of the media continue to pursue Higgins in search of a conspiracy theory as flawed as Justice Lee found Higgins's cover-up claims to be.

In doing so, they dismiss the true power of Lee's finding that Bruce Lehrmann raped Brittany Higgins in a week they also decried the brutal and senseless violence overwhelmingly targeting women that we all witnessed unfold at a Sydney shopping centre.

Laura Tingle is 7.30's chief political correspondent.

  • X (formerly Twitter)

Related Stories

Five key takeways from bruce lehrmann's failed defamation case in the federal court.

A man walks out of glass doors flanked by a lawyer and journalists.

The public battle between 'Team Higgins' and 'Team Lehrmann' revealed the most frightening trap of tribalism

An image of Brittany Higgins next to an image of Bruce Lehrmann.

How rape can be turned into a culture war boggles the mind. But this case was politicised at the starting gate

Bruce looks serious as he walks through a throng of reporters, wearing suit and tie.

  • Courts and Trials
  • Federal Government
  • Federal Parliament
  • Government and Politics
  • Media Industry
  • Sexual Offences
  • Community Service
  • People in the News
  • Podcast Ink™
  • Eric Rhoads – Chairman
  • Deborah Parenti – Publisher
  • Marc Greenspan
  • Chris Stonick
  • Roy H. Williams – The Wizard of Ads
  • John Shomby
  • Buzz Knight
  • Jeff McHugh
  • Women To Watch with Charese Fruge’
  • View Job Listings
  • Submit a Job Listing (employers)
  • View Resumes (employers)
  • Submit Your Resume (job seekers)
  • Contact Radio Ink
  • About Radio Ink
  • Submit a News Tip
  • Submit a Community Service Story
  • Send us a Classic Photo
  • New Subscription (Print or Digital)
  • Subscription Renewal
  • Log In (Existing Digital Subscriptions Only)

Free Daily Radio News

  • Change of Address
  • Back Issues
  • Free Trial Issue
  • Advertise with Radio Ink
  • Digital Magazine Login

Radio Ink - Radio\'s Premier Management & Marketing Magazine

NPR Affiliate Claims ‘Sovereign Immunity’ In Defamation Lawsuit

Pat Bryson

We’re Back!

Loyd Ford

A Totally Free Way To Encourage Your Sellers Now

Rick Fink

Building Trust – Setting Appointments

St Louis Public Radio Logo

Last year, former St. Louis Public Radio General Manager Tim Eby filed a lawsuit against the University of Missouri Board of Curators, which operates the station, for defamation. Now the NPR affiliate’s legal defense says it has “sovereign immunity” from the litigation.

Removed from his position in September 2020 after 11 years amid claims of perpetuating “structural racism,” Eby is seeking more than $100,000 in damages. Despite the controversy, he received a six-month pay extension and a consultancy role post-dismissal. Eby now contends that the allegations have severely impacted his professional opportunities.

In a post on Medium , station journalists said Eby chose to maintain “white supremacy at the station by remaining complacent with the status quo.”

Represented by Christian G. Montry, Eby argues that financial constraints during the COVID-19 pandemic limited his ability to meet staff demands for changes, which he considered financially unfeasible or legally contentious.

Now, during a court hearing on April 18, the Riverfront Times reports the university’s defense, led by attorney Joseph Martineau, argued that the station is immune from such lawsuits due to sovereign immunity, which protects state entities from most civil litigation. Since the state of Missouri owns the University of Missouri and the University owns St. Louis Public Radio, they are saying the case should be dismissed.

The implications of this defense raise concerns about the accountability of media organizations that are part of public institutions. Sovereign immunity, similar in protection to qualified immunity for police officers, could potentially shield the station from consequences of defamation, leading to ethical implications. These legal proceedings could set a precedent for how public media entities are treated under defamation law.

The case is currently under review by St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Joseph Patrick Whyte, with the station’s motion to dismiss based on sovereign immunity still pending.


Leave a reply cancel reply.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

  • Job Title * Please choose an option President/CEO Market Manager General Manager Director of Sales Sales Manager Programming / Ops Manager Account Executive On-Air / Host Digital Manager Marketing Manager News Director Producer Engineer Consultant Administration Legal Counsel Other
  • Example: Consultant
  • Company Name *
  • Comments This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our Print Magazine: Radio Ink

Radio Ink - Radio\'s Premier Management & Marketing Magazine

FILE - A Smartmatic representative demonstrates his company’s system, which has scanners and touch screens with printout options, at a meeting of the Secure, Accessible & Fair Elections Commission, Aug. 30, 2018, in Grovetown, Ga. The voting technology company targeted by bogus fraud claims related to the 2020 presidential election settled a defamation lawsuit Tuesday, April 16, 2024, against a conservative news outlet. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

  • Copy Link copied

WASHINGTON (AP) — A voting technology company targeted by bogus fraud claims related to the 2020 presidential election settled a defamation lawsuit Tuesday against a conservative news outlet.

The settlement between Florida-based Smartmatic and One America News Network is the latest development in a larger legal pushback by voting equipment companies that became ensnared in wild conspiracy theories falsely claiming they had flipped votes and cost former President Donald Trump reelection.

In a statement, the company said it had “resolved its litigation with OANN through a confidential settlement.” The dismissal of its lawsuit was filed in federal court in the District of Columbia. Chip Babcock, a Houston-based attorney representing the news outlet, confirmed the case had been resolved but said he was unable to disclose any of the settlement terms.

Smartmatic was an odd target for the conspiracy theorists because use of its voting technology and software was so limited. It was used only in Los Angeles County, a Democratic stronghold in a state that was not a presidential battleground and where Trump did not contest his loss.

This image from U.S. Capitol Police video, contained and annotated in the Justice Department's statement of facts in support arrest warrant for David Joseph Gietzen, shows Gietzen, circled in yellow, pushing at a officer's shield at a police line on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. The North Carolina man who became a fugitive after a federal jury convicted him of assaulting police officers during the U.S. Capitol riot has been sentenced to six years in prison. (Department of Justice via AP)

But the company has for years also provided voting services in Venezuela , and that created a springboard for phony claims that a foreign company was involved in a vast conspiracy to flip the election from Trump to Democrat Joe Biden. Smartmatic also has active lawsuits against Fox News and the conservative outlet Newsmax over similar complaints. Fox has said it had a First Amendment right to air claims about an election that were being promoted by prominent figures.

Last year, on the eve of a trial, Fox News agreed to pay $787 million to settle a defamation lawsuit filed by a much larger voting technology company, Dominion Voting Systems , which claimed the network and its hosts spread false claims that its equipment helped rig the election against Trump. Dominion has other defamation lawsuits that remain active, including one against One America News Network.

The conspiracy theories relating to voting equipment and software are among the lies about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election won by Biden . Numerous reviews , audits and recounts in the presidential swing states where Trump contested his loss have affirmed Biden’s victory, and there has been no evidence of widespread fraud . Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is facing federal and state charges related to his attempts to overturn the results.

facebook review defamation

Updated February 8, 2023 - Originally Published on May 25, 2021

How Businesses Can Remove a Bad Review on Facebook

This page has been  peer-reviewed, fact-checked, and edited by qualified attorneys  to ensure substantive accuracy and coverage.

In today’s digital world, online reviews on social media sites like Facebook can be pivotal for your business. Fake and negative reviews can do catastrophic damage to your online reputation—which is why it is critical to know how to remove a bad review on Facebook .

To hide or remove a bad Facebook review from your business page , you can:

  • Report the review if it violates Facebook’s community standards,
  • Report the reviewer as a fake account, or
  • Turn reviews off completely by navigating to your page’s settings, clicking Templates and Tabs, and toggling Reviews to “off.”

At Minc Law, we frequently help our clients deal with negative online reviews and publicity. We have extensive experience eliminating and removing damaging online reviews as quickly and efficiently as possible, without drawing unwanted attention or worsening the situation.

In this article, we discuss how to report a fake Facebook review, what circumstances constitute a violation of Facebook’s community standards, how to respond to bad reviews , and how to disable reviews from your Facebook account entirely if necessary.

Dealing with fake business reviews?

Let us help you explore your removal options and craft an effective strategy.

How to Report Fake Facebook Reviews

As one of the most popular social media channels in the world, Facebook is extremely susceptible to social media defamation , including fake reviews. Disgruntled customers, competitors, or even bored social media users may find it all too easy to create an anonymous account and assault your brand with fake and misleading reviews.

Video: What to Do If You Are the Target of Social Media Defamation

Video Placeholder

Thankfully, as a business owner, you have recourse. Below, we explain how to recognize, report, and remove bad reviews below.

How Much Damage Can a Fake Facebook Review Do to Your Reputation?

As a business in the digital age, your online reputation cannot be understated. And reviews of your business are quickly becoming one of the most influential pieces of word-of-mouth marketing that potential customers check to decide whether to do business with you.

In fact, 90% of customers who researched a business online cited positive reviews as a factor in their eventual decision to buy the product.

But just as positive reviews can influence customers to purchase, negative reviews (even fake ones) can have a devastating effect on your business. According to one 2018 Reviewtrackers study, 94% of respondents stated that an online review has convinced them to avoid a business.

Since most internet users will not be able to spot a false review, a fake negative review of your business has the potential to do lasting damage to your business and bottom line.

How Do You Report a Fake Facebook Review?

Generally, there are three ways to report reviews:

  • Report the review as a member of the general public;
  • Report the review through your Facebook business page; or
  • Report the reviewer as a fake account.

Regardless of the reporting option you choose for a fake review, be aware that Facebook generally does not remove reviews unless they contain words or a comment . So if a reviewer simply left a one-star review or rating without comment, you need to comment on it yourself before reporting that review. Otherwise, your report will be ignored.

Option 1: Report Facebook Reviews as a Member of the General Public

On every review, there are three dots in the top right corner. Click those dots to get started. Press the last option, titled either “find support” or “report recommendation.”

Reporting a review on Facebook

You can then send a report based on your recommendation.

Reporting a review on Facebook step two

If you reported the review for a community standards violation, Facebook’s administrators will first confirm that to be the case. If they agree with your assessment, they will remove the post.

Option 2: Report Facebook Reviews Through Your Facebook Business Page

The second way to report a Facebook review is to report it as a business owner through your business page portal.

This reporting process is the same as Option 1 above, except that you are reporting it as the business owner. Simply click the three dots in the top right corner of the review, select “find support” or ”report recommendation,” and select the reason for reporting the post.

Option 3: Report the Reviewer as a Fake Account

Finally, when individuals post fake reviews, they sometimes create false accounts to do so. Facebook’s community standards do not allow fake accounts, so reporting the account is another way to have the review removed.

If you have reason to believe the reviewer is using a fake account, you can report the user’s account as false.

To report a fake Facebook account, simply:

  • Navigate to the profile of the fake account,
  • Click under the cover photo and select “Find support or report profile,” and
  • Follow the on-screen instructions for fake accounts to file a report.

Reporting a fake Facebook account is an effective way to not only combat internet defamation but Facebook sextortion as well.

Find support or report profile

When Will Facebook Remove Fake Reviews?

Facebook will remove fake reviews when the review team confirms that the review is completely unfair, or if it contains one of the following types of content that constitutes a violation of Facebook’s community standards.

Violence & Criminal Behavior

Facebook removes language that incites or facilitates serious violence. Posts that fall under this category include statements with a credible threat to the public or personal safety or those that coordinate harm or publicize a crime.

Groups or individuals that are involved in terrorist activity, organized crime, murder, or human trafficking are also banned from having a Facebook presence.

While Facebook does allow users to share experiences and raise awareness of issues such as self-harm or suicide, the platform does not allow posts in celebration or promotion of these ideas. Posts about exploitation (sexual or otherwise) and bullying or harassment are also expressly prohibited.

Facebook also removes content that reveals personally identifiable information and financial, residential, or medical information that could lead to physical or financial harm.

Objectionable Content

Facebook agrees to remove content that would be considered objectionable and disturbing to a reasonable audience. Content Facebook defines as objectionable includes hate speech, violent and graphic content, adult nudity and sexual activity, and sexual solicitation.

Integrity & Authenticity

Misleading and inauthentic behavior is also discouraged by Facebook. Users are required to create accounts in their own name, not a pseudonym or fake identity. Spamming, cyberattacks, spreading fake news and manipulated media, and misrepresentations of identity are also banned.

Respecting Intellectual Property

While posters own the content they post on Facebook, that content can be removed if it violates another person’s intellectual property rights (ex. copyright infringement ). Posting content that violates copyrights, trademarks, and other legal rights are prohibited in Facebook’s Terms of Service.

Content-Related Requests & Decisions

Finally, Facebook removes accounts if the user requests the removal of their own account, or if a deceased user’s immediate family member or executor requests the account’s removal. Incapacitated users’ accounts can also be removed at the request of an authorized representative.

Additionally, Facebook will comply with requests for removal of an underage account, government requests for removal of child abuse imagery, or legal guardian requests for removal of attacks on unintentionally famous minors.

How Can You Tell if a Review on Facebook is Fake?

Reporting a fake review or fake profile is only useful if you have a way to tell if the review is false in the first place. For this purpose, it is helpful to keep detailed business records so that you can consult your customer database or transaction records when a negative customer review does appear on your Facebook page.

Does that negative review come from an account username that matches or closely resembles an existing customer? Do you have a customer complaint “on file” that seems to match the events recounted in the review? If so, perhaps a reply with deft customer service skills can resolve the issue.

If the review does not appear to align with any of your business records, it may indeed be fake. In that case, check the user’s profile. Look for the following red flags indicating a fake online review :

  • Was the account created on the same day as—and apparently for the sole purpose of—the review itself?
  • Is the account username a play on words, such as “Seymore Butts”?
  • When a reverse image search is conducted of the user’s profile picture, was it clearly copied from somewhere else?
  • Is the language of the review riddled with grammatical errors or inaccurate descriptions of the service or product your business provides?

How to Remove a Bad Review on Facebook

While some negative Facebook reviews are made by anonymous posters with fake accounts, not all bad reviews are necessarily fake ones.

As a local business owner, it is important to understand your options when presented with a negative and potentially harmful review that you cannot prove is false.

When Can You Not Remove a Bad Review on Facebook?

Generally, Facebook will not remove a negative review unless it is a flagrant and/or obvious violation of Facebook’s community standards.

In all other cases, Facebook will most likely not take down the review. The review will remain connected to your page unless you take action through one of the steps below, or the author removes the review themselves.

How Do You Remove a One-Star Rating on Facebook?

There are usually only three ways to deal with a one-star review on Facebook:

  • Convince the original poster to remove it, either voluntarily through customer service response, or involuntarily through litigation;
  • Report the post to Facebook and ask them to remove it for a violation of the community standards; or
  • Encourage actual customers and clients to post positive reviews, which will improve your rating.

Even if a negative review has not been posted, we recommend that all businesses proactively obtain as many positive reviews as is ethical and practical for online reputation management purposes. After all, the more positive reviews your business has, the less of an impact a negative review will make on your online reputation .

Online Reputation Management Fact: Online reputation management (ORM) is a set of strategies and tools that enables individuals and businesses to take direct control over the search results that appear when someone Googles their name. ORM may be the right choice for you if negative online content about you is newsworthy, related to a serious crime, or viral.

How to Remove a Bad Rating on Facebook Marketplace

Many Facebook users sell items on Facebook Marketplace, a common space run by Facebook where users can buy and sell items from each other. Facebook Marketplace is not the same as individual business pages, but negative product reviews can still plague sellers on that part of the platform.

You can report a review on Facebook Marketplace by clicking on the three dots in the upper right corner of the review. Click “Report Review” and follow the on-screen prompts to report the reasons for the reviewer’s violation of the Facebook community standards.

Who Do You Contact at Facebook to Remove a Bad Review?

Unfortunately, there is no one to contact to report a negative review about your business.

As noted above, all reports must start by clicking on the three dots at the top right of the review and filing a report. Facebook’s administrators will review the report and decide whether to remove the bad Facebook review if it does violate their community standards.

Responding to Bad Facebook Reviews

When your business is faced with a negative review online, it can be tempting to fire back with a heated response. But often, responding to a review can do more harm than good.

Below, we provide information on how to respond appropriately, when you should refrain from responding at all, and other ways to deal with a negative review.

How Can You Respond Appropriately to Negative Facebook Reviews?

When your business receives a negative review, it is sometimes advisable to respond with a courteous comment. After all, many reviews are based on unrealistic expectations or inaccurate assumptions about your business that can be resolved with quality customer service.

While we do not always recommend responding to a bad Facebook review (see below), keep the following tips in mind when you do respond:

  • Be non-confrontational. Resist the urge to be defensive; instead, acknowledge the customer’s concerns.
  • Be sympathetic. Even if the complaint is unfounded, show compassion for the person who is upset. If applicable, assure them that the issue is being addressed and/or resolved.
  • Be timely. Most users expect a brand to respond within a few hours, so try to send an appropriate response as soon as possible.
  • Keep it concise. Stay short and sweet—and try to move the conversation offline as soon as possible. Invite the commenter to email your customer service department or send you a private message to continue the exchange.

The key to appropriate review response is to demonstrate the right balance of compassionate, courteous, and informational.

When Should You Not Respond to Negative Facebook Reviews?

In many situations, however, it is not advisable to respond to a negative review. If your local business is not in an industry that relies on a high volume of reviews (such as food, retail, travel, etc.), it may not be worth your while to respond.

In some circumstances, a bad response will only worsen the situation. Sometimes, interacting with a negative review will only draw more attention to it, since many platforms display reviews that have more comments and responses first.

And responding to a negative review also decreases the chances that Facebook will remove it for a violation of its community standards later. When platforms like Facebook evaluate a removal request and see responses, they tend to assume that the business has already dealt with the issue and no further action is needed.

facebook review defamation

How Do You Deal With Negative Comments on Facebook?

Some negative reviews on Facebook come from genuinely dissatisfied customers. However, other posters are unreasonably malicious. In those cases, it is most often the best course to spend your energy trying to block, report, and hide that review from the public eye.

Block the Poster

If you know the poster is not acting in good faith, the simplest course is to block them. To block a user, simply click the three dots next to their profile and select “block.” If a user is blocked by you, they cannot see you or your posts, and you cannot see them.

How to block a user on Facebook

Depending on the issue at hand, you can instead choose to “Hide ALL,” which will prevent you from seeing the user’s posts without blocking them. In that case, the user can still see you, but you will not see them.

Report the Poster

You can also report the malicious user by selecting the three dots next to their profile and clicking on “Find support or report profile.”

Then, select a reason for reporting the user.

Facebook select a problem

Depending on the feedback you give, you may also be asked to submit a separate report to Facebook.

Hide the Comment From the Post

If the content in question is a comment on your own post, you have the option to hide the comment from continuing to appear.

How to hide Facebook comments

The user will not know the comment was hidden, but other Facebook users will no longer be able to see it.

Can you Delete Comments on a Facebook Business Page?

As a business owner, you also have the option to delete the comment. Of course, unlike hiding the comment, choosing to delete it means that the commenter will know it has been removed.

How to delete a Facebook comment

Facebook also contains settings that allow business owners to filter and moderate comments. Turning on these settings allow you to:

  • Moderate and approve all comments,
  • Select age restrictions for posters,
  • Determine posters’ tagging ability,
  • Set a profanity filter, and
  • Select certain words to be blocked from the page.

To alter these settings, go to your business page and click “Settings” in the left column.

Manage Facebook page settings

Then, adjust the various page settings to match your preferences.

Manage Facebook page settings step two

Can You Block Someone From Leaving a Review on Facebook?

By following the steps listed above, you can block specific users from being able to interact with your business Facebook page in the future—including leaving a review. Simply click the three dots next to their profile and select “block.”

Minc Law Defamation Tip: Many business owners are tempted to call a negative review defamatory. However, there is a difference between a bad review and defamation . A negative review that was written by an actual customer describing their real, negative experience with your business is legal and not defamatory. A bad review becomes defamation if the reviewer lies about being a customer or lies about their experience. For more information about when you can sue for a negative review, see our article: Can You Sue for a Bad Review?

How to Turn Off & Delete Facebook Reviews

Unfortunately, Facebook reviews cannot be hidden or blocked the same way comments can. To take action without waiting for Facebook’s administrators, your simplest option is to turn off your page’s reviews altogether.

Where Can You Turn Off Facebook Reviews in Your Settings?

Some business owners prefer to avoid dealing with Facebook reviews at all. To turn recommendations on or off for your business page, navigate to your page and click ‘Settings’ in the left-hand menu.

Manage business profile page

Click “Templates and Tabs.’

Manage business profile page templates and tabs

On this page, you have the option to toggle the ‘Reviews’ tap on or off. When this option is turned off, visitors to your page will not be able to leave a review.

Manage business profile page tabs closed

Why Might You Choose to Turn Off Your Facebook Reviews?

While opting to avoid allowing reviews on your business page is not right for everyone, there are a few situations in which it makes more sense to disable reviews than to deal with the potential for negative publicity.

You may decide to turn off your Facebook review if:

  • You are not very active on Facebook and do not want to monitor and respond to reviews posted on that platform;
  • You have so many negative reviews that it would be too much work to have them removed; or
  • You have been bombarded with negative fake reviews (or one or two that are particularly harmful and problematic).

Why Do Reviews Sometimes Disappear From Facebook?

Occasionally, a review will disappear seemingly on its own accord. This disappearance may happen because the person who wrote the review removed it themselves, or the author of the review deleted their account.

In other cases, Facebook’s algorithm may have removed the review for a violation of the platform’s community standards.

We Can Help Remove Fake Facebook Reviews

Whether fake, malicious, or misleading, a negative review on Facebook can have long-lasting effects on your business and online reputation if left unchecked. It can be frustrating and time-consuming to try to remove that review on your own, however.

Don't suffer in silence.

With a team of experienced attorneys, we will fight for the closure you deserve. Take back control today.

If you are struggling to respond to an onslaught of fake reviews or find yourself stymied by the roadblocks in Facebook’s reporting process, we can help. At Minc Law, we pride ourselves on transparent, cost-effective, and permanent consumer review removals.

★★★★★ “This is a very special law firm with a truly noble mission. It emerged because people, businesses, and organizations are being viciously hurt on the internet. It’s the only firm of its kind and they are very effective.” Shahin Ruyani, July 19, 2021

To learn more about your options for dealing with fake or negative Facebook reviews, contact us for a free consultation by calling (216) 373-7706, speaking with a Chat Representative, or filling out our online contact form .

Contact Minc Law

Statista. Most popular social networks worldwide as of July 2021, ranked by number of active users in millions (2021).

Zendesk. The business impact of customer service on customer lifetime value (2013).

ReviewTrackers. 2021 ReviewTrackers Online Reviews Stats and Survey (2021).

Facebook Community Standards (2021).

Facebook Help Center. How Do I Report a Fake Facebook Account? (2021).

Facebook Community Standards. Violence and Criminal Behavior (2021).

Facebook Community Standards. Safety (2021).

Facebook Community Standards. Objectionable Content (2021).

Facebook Community Standards. Integrity and Authenticity (2021).

Facebook Help Center. Policies and Reporting - Copyright (2021).

Facebook Terms of Service (2021).

Facebook Community Standards. Additional Protection of Minors (2021).

Facebook Help Center. How Do I Report a Review on a Product for Sale on Facebook Marketplace?

Facebook Help Center. Using Facebook. How Do I Report a Facebook Profile? (2021).

Facebook Help Center. Using Facebook. How Do I Turn Recommendations On or Off for My Business Page? (2021).

Related Posts

Aaron Minc avatar

How to Remove Negative & Fake Glassdoor Reviews

How to spot & remove fake online reviews, how to remove fake google reviews, can you sue for a bad review, site search.

Woman stands in front of bank of microphones outside courthouse

How the Lehrmann v Channel 10 defamation case shone an unflattering light on commercial news gathering

facebook review defamation

Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Advancing Journalism, The University of Melbourne

Disclosure statement

Denis Muller does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

University of Melbourne provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation AU.

View all partners

Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson’s victory in the defamation action brought against them by Bruce Lehrmann is the second big win inside a year for the Australian media using the defence of truth. However, it comes at a heavy cost to the reputations of the industry and the profession of journalism.

The evidence about the Seven Network’s efforts to get Lehrmann to give an exclusive interview for its Spotlight program, allegedly including the purchase of cocaine and prostitute services for him, cast a pall over the way commercial TV news programs operate.

These allegations were denied by Seven , but invoices and receipts said to support them were produced in court. Justice Michael Lee stated in his judgment that they were uncontradicted by any evidence in reply from Lehrmann.

By contrast with this unsavoury episode, only ten months ago, in June 2023, Australians saw journalism at the opposite end of the ethical spectrum when The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times proved the substantial truth of the imputation that Ben Roberts-Smith was a war criminal. It was a victory based on extraordinary feats of investigative journalism on a matter of grave public interest.

Read more: A win for the press, a big loss for Ben Roberts-Smith: what does this judgment tell us about defamation law?

How Network Ten got it right … and wrong

Network Ten and Wilkinson also produced journalism dealing with a matter of grave public interest. They can claim credit for giving a voice to Brittany Higgins, now proved to be the victim of rape, by interviewing her on The Project, and in doing so standing up for the right of all women victims to be heard.

But the credit is tarnished by their actions first in disrupting Lehrmann’s criminal trial and second by serious journalistic weaknesses in the production of The Project interview itself.

The interview won Wilkinson a silver Logie, but her acceptance speech was considered by the ACT Supreme Court to be so prejudicial in favour of Higgins as to amount to trial by media.

The trial was postponed and ultimately collapsed because of juror misconduct, with no findings against Lehrmann.

Justice Lee acknowledged that Wilkinson had cleared her speech with Ten’s senior litigation counsel, Tasha Smithies, whose conduct in this matter he criticised, and was encouraged by the network to make the speech. In these respects, he said, Wilkinson had been badly let down by those she turned to for advice.

However, he went on to say she was an experienced journalist who might have realised the speech was fraught with danger if she had thought it through as a journalist rather than as a champion of Higgins.

This attachment to Higgins’ cause was a fundamental weakness that underlay the many substantive criticisms Justice Lee made of the journalistic motives and processes leading up to The Project interview.

From the outset, Wilkinson had said to Higgins’ boyfriend, David Sharaz, that she proposed to “hold Britt’s hand through all this”.

Justice Lee observed that while he was aware of the need to build rapport and deal sensitively with a person presenting as a victim of sexual assault, assessing the credibility of someone making claims of serious wrongdoing required a degree of detachment that was absent in the interactions between The Project team and Higgins.

The second weakness was that Wilkinson and the producer of the program, Angus Llewellyn, failed to keep an open mind. In Justice Lee’s words, all contemporaneous records suggested they never doubted the truth of Higgins’ account.

For them, he said, the most important part of the story was Higgins’ narrative in which others were putting up roadblocks to her quest for justice.

It was this cover-up or victimisation allegation that had generated so much notoriety and public interest, yet it had contained inconsistencies, falsities and imprecisions that the journalists had failed resolve.

Justice Lee also raised doubts about Higgins’ motive for doing the interview. Llewellyn had given evidence that he thought Higgins wanted to speak out about her experience to create change, to prevent it from happening to anyone else, and did not consider she had a vendetta.

While conceding there might have been some truth in this, Justice Lee said any suggestion Wilkinson or Llewellyn approached the story with disinterested professional scepticism was undermined by the way they were prepared to assist in the plans of Sharaz and Higgins to use the allegations for immediate political advantage.

He said Sharaz’s political motives were made plain by his expressed intention to liaise with an opposition frontbencher to deploy the allegations against the government during Question Time.

facebook review defamation

Yet Llewellyn had evidently considered this to be of no consequence, leading Justice Lee to say that any journalist who did not think Sharaz had a motivation to inflict immediate political damage would have to be “wilfully blind”.

Moreover, Llewellyn and Wilkinson had expressed a willingness to assist in the political use of the serious charges they were supposedly interrogating and assessing with independent minds.

So once more in this saga, journalists and the media were revealed as having become partisan political participants in the story.

Read more: Judge finds Bruce Lehrmann raped Brittany Higgins and dismisses Network 10 defamation case. How did it play out?

Journalist as participant

Previously we had seen The Australian newspaper and one of its columnists, Janet Albrechtsen, insert themselves into the inquiry established by the ACT government into the way the criminal case against Lehrmann had been handled.

According to a judicial review of that inquiry by the ACT Supreme Court, the chair of the inquiry, Walter Sofronoff, engaged in 273 interactions with Albrechtsen over the inquiry’s seven months. This included 51 phone calls, text messages, emails and a private lunch in Brisbane.

It was alleged during the judicial review that Albrechtsen was an “advocate” for Lehrmann, and the review found that Sofronoff’s extensive communications with her gave rise to an impression of bias in the findings he made against the former ACT director of public prosecutions, Shane Drumgold.

This phenomenon of journalist as participant undermines public trust in the credibility of the media.

In his recent book Collision of Power , Martin Baron, who was executive editor of the Washington Post throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, takes a strong stand against this trend.

He argues that the more journalists are perceived as partisans, the less their reporting will be believed.

At a time of peril for democratic institutions, we need to be good stewards of our own, reinforcing standards rather than abandoning them.

The Project did right by Higgins and by helping to elevate the issue of violence against women. But this was achieved by journalistic attitudes and practices that did not stand up to scrutiny.

Justice Lee described the Lehrmann saga as “an omnishambles” that had inflicted widespread collateral damage. The media and journalism have not escaped.

  • Australian media
  • Media ethics
  • Brittany Higgins
  • Lisa Wilkinson
  • Bruce Lehrmann

facebook review defamation

Project Offier - Diversity & Inclusion

facebook review defamation

Senior Lecturer - Earth System Science

facebook review defamation

Sydney Horizon Educators (Identified)

facebook review defamation

Deputy Social Media Producer

facebook review defamation

Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy

  • Manage Account
  • Website Survey
  • Voter Guide
  • Things to Do
  • Public Notices
  • Help Center

Sidney Powell law license fight can’t be over

Despite appeals court loss, state bar must press on..

FILE - Sidney Powell, right, speaks next to former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, as...

By Dallas Morning News Editorial

2:00 AM on Apr 24, 2024 CDT

The State Bar of Texas’ disciplinary committee has egg on its face after suffering an embarrassing appeals court loss in its case against former Donald Trump lawyer Sidney Powell.

The 5th District Court of Appeals recently sided with a lower court that tossed out the bar’s ethics case against Powell largely on procedural and clerical errors. The court’s 24-page opinion scolded attorneys for the Commission for Lawyer Discipline for their “scattershot” handling of the case.

We’re troubled by the commission’s sloppiness in this high-profile, important case, which warranted much more careful handling. But we urge it to regroup and continue seeking disciplinary action against Powell in connection with her far more egregious actions in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Let’s take a step back and recall some important facts.

Get smart opinions on the topics North Texans care about.

By signing up you agree to our  Terms of Service  and  Privacy Policy

Shortly after the election, Powell brought lawsuits against Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia alleging that a vast conspiracy between Dominion Voting Systems and foreign dictators resulted in hundreds of thousands of fraudulent votes cast in favor of President Joe Biden. None of the cases was successful.

Last year, Fox News agreed to a $787.5 million settlement in a defamation case brought by Dominion after the network repeatedly aired and promoted Powell and her claims. And in October, the Dallas attorney pleaded guilty in Georgia to six reduced criminal charges accusing her of conspiring to intentionally interfere with the performance of election duties.

Back home, the state bar for two years has been trying to win sanctions against Powell for alleged ethical misconduct by filing frivolous suits in the battleground states. But unfortunately the bar’s case was derailed before it ever made it to trial when Collin County state District Judge Andrea Bouressa granted Powell’s motion for summary judgment in February 2023.

That ruling was made in large part because the bar’s response to Powell’s motion was riddled with errors, including critical misnumbering and exclusion of exhibits. We strongly criticized Bouressa’s ruling, and said she should have shown some latitude given the seriousness of the case.

There’s no excuse for the bar’s mistakes. All it had to do was present “more than a scintilla” of evidence that the case should move forward. It failed to do so, the 5th District court held, and it now appears the case has little hope. What a dumbfounding result given all we’ve learned about Powell in the last couple of years.

A spokeswoman for the bar told us in an email she couldn’t comment on what the commission will do next. Perhaps it will try to appeal the ruling or bring a new case against Powell based on her Georgia pleas, as some prominent lawyers have urged .

Whatever course it takes, we urge the bar to move forward and, this time, far more competently.

We welcome your thoughts in a letter to the editor. See the guidelines and submit your letter here . If you have problems with the form, you can submit via email at [email protected]

Dallas Morning News  Editorial

Dallas Morning News Editorial . Dallas Morning News editorials are written by the paper's Editorial Board and serve as the voice and view of the paper. The board considers a broad range of topics and is overseen by the Editorial Page Editor.

5 thoughts from Mavericks-Clippers Game 2: Pivotal win as series moves to Dallas

Pro-palestine students occupy ut dallas’ building demanding action amid gaza conflict, 1 dead, 4 injured after driver crashes into dart train in south dallas, officials say, 4 foxtrot coffee shops in dallas close unexpectedly and permanently, texas substitute teacher fired after student puppet show depicts mass shooting.

We've detected unusual activity from your computer network

To continue, please click the box below to let us know you're not a robot.

Why did this happen?

Please make sure your browser supports JavaScript and cookies and that you are not blocking them from loading. For more information you can review our Terms of Service and Cookie Policy .

For inquiries related to this message please contact our support team and provide the reference ID below.


  1. How to Deal With Social Media Defamation & Libel

    facebook review defamation

  2. Facebook defamation letter (concerns notice

    facebook review defamation

  3. How you shouldn't use social media, part 1: defamation

    facebook review defamation

  4. How to Remove Defamatory Content from Facebook

    facebook review defamation

  5. Facebook Review Response Guide: Examples and Best Practices

    facebook review defamation

  6. How to Manage Negative Facebook Reviews and Recommendations

    facebook review defamation


  1. Curious about Trump's Defamation Case Outcome? Watch the Final Verdict

  2. Talk World Radio: The Anti-Defamation League Makes Supporting Apartheid the Standard for Anti-Racism

  3. Review Requested Facebook Problem Solved 2024

  4. Trump is liable in the second E. Jean Carroll defamation case, judge rules


  1. What is defamation and how do I report it on Facebook?

    Defamation is generally a false statement of fact that harms someone's reputation. If you would like to report a post you believe is defamatory, you can fill out this form. Please note that, due to local laws, this reporting form may not be available in your location. In addition, filling out a defamation report through this form doesn't ...

  2. When Are Online Reviews Considered Defamation?

    An online review is considered defamation when it does not reflect a genuine marketplace interaction; when it is a false statement of fact, communicated to a third party, made with at least negligent intent, that harms your business's reputation. Our experienced team at Minc Law has represented hundreds of businesses that have been targeted ...

  3. 5 Legal Options if You Are Slandered on Facebook

    In the following sections, we will explain how you can report: Libelous posts by clicking on the post itself, Slanderous videos by clicking on the video, Profiles or accounts of users who are defaming you, and. Slander or libel through Facebook's Defamation Reporting Form. 2. Trusted Source Facebook Help Center.

  4. What is defamation and how do I report it on Facebook?

    Defamation is generally a false statement of fact that harms someone's reputation. If you would like to report a post you believe is defamatory, you can fill out this form. Please note that, due to local laws, this reporting form may not be available in your location. In addition, filling out a defamation report through this form doesn't ...

  5. How to Deal With Social Media Defamation & Libel

    Social media defamation is an all-encompassing term used to describe a false statement of fact about a third party published to a social media website, platform, or app, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Social media defamation is often referred to as 'social media slander' or 'slander on social media.'.

  6. Cyber Libel

    Updated by Stacy Barrett, Attorney · UC Law San Francisco. As of 2024, a big majority of Americans use some type of social media. The dramatic rise in social media use has resulted in an increased risk of online defamation. Defamation happens when someone makes a false statement about you—verbally or in writing—that damages your reputation.

  7. Before you write that scathing online review, beware of defamation

    Mobile technology and platforms like Facebook have made it easy to post online reviews. There a number of defences to a defamation claim. Social media. Defamation. online reviews. Defamation law ...

  8. Defamation and Social Media: What You Need to Know

    A look at how defamation cases arise in the context of social media and the Internet. Learn more about online defamation claims at Findlaw.com. ... A Facebook status update or tweet about a negative employment incident may receive dozens of 'likes' and comments. Tens of thousands of users may see and rate a searing Yelp review. An edited ...

  9. What are Your Legal Remedies When Someone Defames You on Facebook?

    A lawyer can do two things to help you combat defamation on Facebook: Send a demand letter to the posting Facebook user, explaining the problems with the content and requesting removal. This letter, also known as a takedown request, can warn the user that you intend to file a lawsuit if they refuse to do so. File a lawsuit.

  10. Online Defamation Law and Social Media

    People who are victims of defamation often wonder whom they can sue in addition to the individual writer. The Communications Decency Act, a federal law, blocks liability for internet service providers or website hosts in most situations. In some cases, however, you may be able to sue the employer of the person who wrote the defamatory content.

  11. What is defamation and how do I report it on Instagram?

    Defamation is generally a false statement of fact that harms someone's reputation. If you would like to report a post that you believe is defamatory on...

  12. Can You Be Sued for Something You Post on Facebook?

    Defamation of Character One cause of action that may arise from posting information on Facebook is a defamation of character claim. To prove defamation of character, the victim has to show that you made a statement that was published, it caused the victim injury and it was false and was not a privileged statement.

  13. How to Prevent and Remove Negative Facebook Reviews

    Best Practices for Responding to Negative Reviews on Facebook. When responding to negative reviews on Facebook, it's essential to follow best practices to ensure a positive outcome. Here are some key tips to keep in mind: Respond Promptly: Timely responses demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. Aim to reply to negative reviews ...

  14. Can You Sue for Defamation of Character on Facebook?

    The answer is yes, but you have to prove the elements that define defamation of character. Defamation of character in any form can irrevocably destroy the personal and/or professional reputation of another person. On Facebook, it can happen when a visitor leaves a comment concerning a post, as well as within the content of an article that a ...

  15. [Guide] How to Report Libel and Slander on Facebook

    Step 2: Report the Content. Once you've determined which kind of reporting you need to do, it's time to do so. To report specific content, you need to navigate to that content on Facebook. Find the person, post or video responsible. There will be a menu button to click, with "report this content" as the final option.

  16. Can I Sue for Bad Reviews Against My Business?

    The Difference: Defamation vs. Bad Review. Defamation can be described as a false statement presented as a fact that ends up causing injury or damage to the reputation of a person, business, or entity. For instance, if a statement is false, and a business loses customers due to the false statement, it may be considered defamation.

  17. Defamation Lawsuit Over Facebook Reviews Partially Dismissed

    A man who allegedly solicited false Facebook reviews against his former employer and residential construction firm rival partially won a bid to dismiss a defamation lawsuit, because the Texas anti-SLAPP law protected this speech, a state court of appeals said Thursday.

  18. Google, Facebook users face lawsuits over defamatory reviews

    Mr Voller brought a civil case against Fairfax Media, Nationwide News and Sky News over user comments made in reply to articles posted to Facebook between July 2016 and June 2017, and the judge ...

  19. Facebook defamation ruling highlights costly legal dangers of social

    Lawyers warn of a rise in the number of defamation cases involving online messages, after a Queensland woman was ordered to pay nearly $300,000 for Facebook posts.

  20. Carole Baskin asks Florida Supreme Court to review defamation case

    According to past AP reports, a defamation lawsuit was filed in state court in Tampa back in 2020 by Don Lewis' three daughters, Donna Pettis, Lynda Sanchez, and Gale Rathbone, as well as his ...

  21. What is defamation and how do I report it on Facebook?

    English (US) Defamation is generally a false statement of fact that harms someone's reputation. If you would like to report a post you believe is defamatory, you can fill out this form. Please note that, due to local laws, this reporting form may not be available in your location. In addition, filling out a defamation report through this form ...

  22. In five words Justice Lee brought Lehrmann's defamation case back to

    Bruce Lerhmann's defamation case has exposed a continuing hostility to women in the broader Australian community which has seen women too eagerly cast as liars, whatever the nature of the issue ...

  23. NPR Affiliate Claims 'Sovereign Immunity' In Defamation Lawsuit

    0. Last year, former St. Louis Public Radio General Manager Tim Eby filed a lawsuit against the University of Missouri Board of Curators, which operates the station, for defamation. Now the NPR ...

  24. Voting technology company settles lawsuit against far-right news outlet

    The voting technology company targeted by bogus fraud claims related to the 2020 presidential election settled a defamation lawsuit Tuesday, April 16, 2024, against a conservative news outlet. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

  25. Conservative Broadcaster OAN Settles Defamation Claims by Voting

    Photo: David Barak/Zuma Press. One America News Network reached a confidential settlement Tuesday to resolve a defamation lawsuit by voting-machine company Smartmatic over the conservative outlet ...

  26. How to Remove a Bad Review on Facebook

    Option 1: Report Facebook Reviews as a Member of the General Public. On every review, there are three dots in the top right corner. Click those dots to get started. Press the last option, titled either "find support" or "report recommendation.". You can then send a report based on your recommendation.

  27. How the Lehrmann v Channel 10 defamation case shone an unflattering

    The judge in the high-profile defamation case described the saga as an "omnishambles" - and the media are included in that. How the Lehrmann v Channel 10 defamation case shone an unflattering ...

  28. Sidney Powell law license fight can't be over

    Last year, Fox News agreed to a $787.5 million settlement in a defamation case brought by Dominion after the network repeatedly aired and promoted Powell and her claims.

  29. California Sees Two More Property Insurers Exit From Market

    April 18, 2024 at 10:43 AM PDT. Listen. 1:39. California's already strained property insurance market is facing a new challenge as two more insurers, Tokio Marine America Insurance Co. and Trans ...