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How can businesses fight defamation or disparagement attempts?

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2023 | Business Law

Businesses, much like individuals, largely depend on having a positive reputation with the local community to succeed. Once, direct communication was necessary to spread a rumor and ruin a company’s reputation. Now people can disparage a company online in a somewhat anonymous fashion.

Online reviews or social media posts about a business that go viral can do a lot of damage to an organization in a small amount of time. Due to the stakes of the situation in question, is it possible for those responsible for a company to take legal action in Texas over business disparagement or defamation?

Business disparagement may lead to litigation

Freedom of speech is a very basic value upheld by the courts and the laws across the country. However, just because the government can’t directly prosecute an individual for speaking or publishing something does not mean that other parties impacted by those actions have to stand by without recourse.

Those affected by the misconduct of others often have a right to ask the Texas civil courts for compensation or to intervene and prevent future actions. A business disparagement or defamation case brought in accordance with Texas law could result in financial compensation for the business unfairly maligned by others. A successful suit could also result in a court order to remove online content or add new contacts to claims made about the business.

Generally, disparagement or defamation claims require evidence that the claims are untrue. Both outright fabrications and malicious exaggerations that harm a business’s standing with the community could constitute defamation or disparagement and leave the party making those accusatory or negative statements open to civil action.

Although there are people who will claim that any publicity is good publicity, a brand’s reputation can have a direct impact on how many customers it attracts and even the caliber of employees that it can hire. Identifying and fighting back against business disparagement can help owners and executives seek accountability for those who want to harm their company by damaging its reputation by vocalizing claims that are simply untrue.