Search engines unwilling to ‘arbitrate’
Matt Earle, president of Reputation.ca, a Toronto-based firm that helps clients improve their online standing, says that because search engines exist to index material on other sites they don’t have a mechanism for dealing with defamation.
“The reality is they won’t arbitrate decisions about this,” says Earle.
A better chance of getting results, Earle says, is directly approaching the sites where the offensive material is posted.
He says that sometimes, simply sending a “nice email” that explains why you feel you are being libelled is enough to compel a site to remove the material.
But Earle warns there are a number of sites, like the ones where Clayworth was defamed, “that are set up on a borderline-extortion business model.” They charge money to remove defamatory material, he says.