Social Enterprise

Bringing in the big guns to defend your reputation online


A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog about how some prospective employers use search engines to check on job candidates. (According to what survey you listen to, 1/3 or 1/4 of all managers do this.)

The problem I addressed in that blog was when your name was confused, in a google search, with someone else's who is generally unsavory. Sometimes, however, a search could bring up something unflattering about you. What do you do if someone who has a personal grudge against you publishes false information?

Companies, like Reputation Defender, are emerging now that can help redeem your online reputation. Reputation Defender monitors your name online for a monthly fee between $10 to $16. If they find something you don't like, they try to convince website administrators to remove it. That costs about $30 per "destroy."

Of course, the "convincing" isn't always effective. Some websites or blogs refuse to comply, claiming that companies like Reputation Defender are using censorship. According to the Wall Street Journal, one case concerned a Gawker Media blog that featured the tale of a man who was briefly jailed for harassing Priceline.com for a refund. The blog refused to back down at the request for removal and fired back with a vitriolic entry about censorship. As a result, Reputation Defender's CEO, Michael Fertik issued a statement saying that his company would no longer be sending notices to "irreverent blogs" which may be more likely to mock the company's efforts.  

I'm not sure what that means or how effective a service like this can be if it is adverse to addressing the online cranks out there. But I guess it's a good place to start-and cheaper than hiring a lawyer.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

4 comments
Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

If someone defames you, use the courts, it's more profitable, or flame back. me, I don't bother, as they're not worth the energy. edited to change the title

DasTwitcH
DasTwitcH

I've always been a little paranoid in this respect, even in the early days. That's why I don't have a web presence under my real name. You can google it and get nothing relating to me. Everything is under aliases, which are not on my resume :D T

NOW LEFT TR
NOW LEFT TR

With all the Flames, Posts & Blogs here!

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

with a name on their resume of "The TechMail" (firstname sounds vaguely Vietnamese :) I'll know where to look! If people are raging around on the net, certainly a good idea to not use your real name unless you're blogging for a living for example. Take darkreading.com, a computer security website some bloggers use their real names, others such as 'Tim the Enchanter' has a picture in a wizard suit!

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