Digital Assassination

Protecting your reputation, brand or business against online attacks

“In the future, which is now, everyone will have 15 minutes of shame.”

Two leading reputation experts reveal how online attacks destroy brands, reputations, even lives...and provide a course of actions to turn the tables on digital assassins.


Politicians pass laws, but that doesn't mean they understand them.

September 26, 2011

Senator Rick SantorumPresidential hopeful Rick Santorum is justifiably upset by a Google bomb that links searches for his name to something too disgusting to repeat here.  In demanding that Google take it down, however, Santorum does not seem to understand that all the responsibility—and liability—rests with the webmaster, not the search engine—in a law that passed when he was a member of the Senate.  (Anybody out there know how Senator Santorum voted on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act?)

Santorum, however, does strike at a point.

“I suspect if something was up there like that about Joe Biden, they’d get rid of it,” he said.  In fact, something was ‘up there’ about First Lady Michelle Obama, a truly offensive image.  Google did act against one site carrying that image, citing malware concerns, and placed an ad explaining its stance.  Technology companies will need to remain utterly consistent in how they apply these rules—and clear to the public how they operate.  Politicians need to understand the need to play by the rules they themselves have passed.


Actually your explanation of the CDA is incomplete with referencing the DMCA. There is certainly no liability for Google as a search engine, but for the web site, if the remark was made by a visitor then the webmaster is not liable either. That is why CNN and other news media make practically no attempt to monitor their boards since they are not liable under DCA. eBay does not take down libelous comments on its reputation system because eBay knows they are not liable under DMCA. Only if the site owner posts the libelous comment is he/she responsible. I hope you made this clear in your book and don't confuse and misinform people.

Posted by digitalman on 10/01/2011




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