How to Remove Slander from Google

Last Updated on June 6, 2024

remove slander from googleOn the internet, it’s all too common to come across online defamation. Everyone has their opinion, but slander about you is upsetting, especially when you know it isn’t true. When someone slanders you online, it can spread like wildfire and hurt your reputation. In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to remove slander from Google search results.

Differences Between Defamation vs Slander vs Libel

People often use the terms “defamation”, “libel”, and “slander” interchangeably. However, there are some key differences.

Defamation meaning

Defamation is a general term that describes any statement that damages someone’s reputation. Think of “defamation” as an umbrella term that includes slander and libel. It occurs when someone either speaks or writes false information about someone’s character. This reputation damage can hurt their chances at future success.

Online slander and libel meaning

Slander and libel are both forms of defamation, and can significantly affect a person’s reputation. But, the key difference is important because it affects your ability to prove it in court.

Libel refers to written defamatory statements. Libelous statements occur in permanent form, such as in newspapers, books, online articles, social media posts, etc. Typically, libel does not require proof of actual damages. Insead, harm is presumed due to the permanent nature of the statement.

Slander refers to spoken defamatory statements. Slander does not exist in permanent form, which makes it harder to prove. Instead, you generally have to give evidence that the statement caused actual harm or damages.

defamation vs slander vs libel

Defamation is a legal umbrella term that reverse to false statements presented as fact that damages someone’s reputation. It includes slander and libel.

Examples of defamation

Here are some examples of false and defamatory statements that could affect your reputation and online presence:

  • a coworker claims you are embezzling company funds without any evidence
  • someone spreads rumors at a social gathering that you’re having an affair
  • someone tells your customers that you are an incompetent business owner, leading to a loss of business
  • someone posts a fake review claiming your restaurant serves contaminated food
  • someone publishes an article or blog post accusing a politician of accepting bribes when they didn’t
  • someone posts something about you on a slander website

Defamation laws

In the United States, the first amendment protects free speech. However, if someone slanders you (online or otherwise), defamation laws do exist to protect you.  Here are the four basic principles of these laws:

  1. The statement must be false (otherwise known as a false statement of fact or fraudulent misrepresentation). If someone said something that is true, it is not defamation, regardless if it hurts your reputation. As the subject, you must prove that the statement is in fact false.
  2. The statement must be communicated to at least one other person besides the subject.
  3. The statement must cause harm to the subject’s reputation. However, some statements are “defamatory per se”. This means they are inherently harmful and you may not need to give actual evidence of harm.
  4. The statement must involve either negligence or actual malice. The level of fault depends on whether the subject is a public figure or private individual. Public figures have a higher burden of proof for libel and slander, and must prove the statement involves actual malice.

What Is Not Considered Defamation?

The most important part of a defamation case is that the statement is false. If the statement is true, filing for defamation could backfire and damage your reputation even more.

If you cannot prove internet slander or online libel, consider hiring a reputation management company. They can create a custom strategy to clear your name online and promote your personal or business brand.

negative content removal

What Is Cyber Slander?

Cyber slander meaning: the act of making false, defamatory statements about someone on digital platforms. Cyber slander usually occurs on platforms like:

  • review websites like Google My Business, Yelp, Amazon, or Tripadvisor
  • social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok.
  • news articles, publications, and online journals
  • online forums and message boards like Reddit
  • email and instant messaging
  • blogs and personal websites

Just like with traditional libel and slander, cyber slander can seriously harm your reputation. However, legal action can be challenging. Determining the appropriate jurisdiction is difficult, and perpetrators are often anonymous.

What Can I Do If Someone Is Slandering Me Online?

If someone cyber slanders you, the most important thing you can do is gather evidence. Use these tips:

  • Take screenshots of the statements that include timestamps, URLs, and any context
  • Keep a list of the URLs for these statements on a Google Doc
  • Gather any information you can find about the user who posted the content (username, profile link, etc)
  • If the perpetrator deleted the statement, check the Wayback Machine to find an archived version of the page
  • Set up a Google Alert to continuously monitor for mentions of your name online
  • If the poster is anonymous, consider working with an attorney. They can issue a subpoena to internet service providers (ISP) to uncover the user’s identity

How To Get A Google Review Removed That Has Defamation:

Positive online reviews are incredibly important for businesses. But, sometimes people leave fake negative reviews that hurt your business’s reputation. When this happens, you can remove negative reviews on your Google Business Profile by reporting them. If the review violates Google content policy, they will take it down.

4 Steps To Permanently Remove Slander From Internet Search Results

Defamatory content about you or your business can quickly go out of control online. Follow these steps to remove defamation from your internet search results.

Step 1: Reach out to the site owner

Reaching out to the site owner is always a good first step when removing negative content. In online news publications, reporters don’t always get the most reliable sources before writing their piece. This is your chance to review the posted information and provide evidence to the contrary. You can discuss these edits with an editor.

You can also ask them to remove your name from the headline. Explain to them how their content has harmed you. Proceed to the next step if they don’t respond or refuse to come to an agreement.

Step 2: Request removal through Google

Your next step is to request internet content removal from Google search results. First, familiarize yourself with Google’s content policies. Then, follow these steps:

  • Go to Report Content on Google
  • Choose which Google product shows the defamatory content. You must file separate reports for each Google product.
  • When you see “Select the reason why you wish to report the content”, select “defamation”.
  • Click “Create request” to file a report.

If the content contains any copyrighted content, you can file a Google DMCA takedown notice

report slander on Google

Go to the Report Content On Google page to begin your removal request. Click “Defamation” and then submit your request.

Step 3: Suppress Defamatory Content 

Removing slander from the internet can take time. But, the damage to your reputation is immediate. To stop this damaging content from appearing, you can instead suppress negative search results.

Once you push the defamatory content onto the second page of Google search, hardly anyone will see it. This is a great strategy to improve your online reputation and secure it for the future.

Step 4: Filing a Defamation Lawsuit

When other efforts to remove defamation from the internet fail, a lawsuit may be necessary. Consider hiring an experienced defamation lawyer. They can help remove the defamation and get you compensation for damages.

First, the lawyer will likely send a cease and desist letter. If the offender still does not remove the slander, they can serve a court order and file a lawsuit.

In Closing: Removing Internet Slander

You don’t have to let defamation ruin your reputation. You have options to handle slander and libel. Follow these steps to remove slander from your internet search results and get your reputation back on track.

free reputation consultation

If you’re stuck dealing with the repercussions of defamatory content, reach out to the team at Reputation911. Our experts can create a customized plan to remove and suppress defamation and make you look good online.

About The Author

William DiAntonio is the Founder & CEO of Reputation911, a reputation management firm he founded in 2010 that has earned the trust of its clients for over a decade by helping individuals, businesses and brands control their online search results.

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