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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.


Content Production Director

Raphael serves as the Content Production Director for Reputation.ca. Raphael oversees the company's writing staff, assuring that content is delivered accurately and with the highest level of quality. A College of William and Mary graduate, he enjoys reading and playing tennis in his free time.