DirtyScam.com is a popular consumer complaint Website where users can report “the injustice done to them by any service provider, company or individual.”
According to DirtyScam, its mission is towards creating awareness of unfair, misleading, or obnoxious practices which many companies follow or perform for their personal benefit.”
Although Websites like DirtyScam can provide helpful information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognize and avoid scams, they can also be used to spread lies and misinformation and create a forum for harassment or cyberbullying.
Competitors, former employees, or disgruntled customers can easily take advantage of DirtyScam.com by posting false or defamatory information. Negative and fake reviews on DirtyScam can have a devastating impact on you and your company’s reputation.
What is DirtyScam.com?
DirtyScam.com is a consumer complaint website where people can post information about scams, deceptive business practices and fraudulent activity by businesses, people, and products. Some of the most common online scams include:
Some of the most common online scams include:
- A request to pay for a purchase in iTunes or other store vouchers
- A request to pay in advance for a prize, vacation, product, experience, membership or large lump-sum payment
- A request to allow remote access to a computer or phone
- A request to invest in a property, managed fund or business venture
- A request to enter personal details or payment information into a website
- A request to give or receive a payment in cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin
- A request to pay an invoice sent via email or letter
- A request to provide personal details in response to a survey
- A request to enter your credit card information, account number and/or PIN
- A request to pay to recover money lost in connection with a scam
- A request to pay money to avoid the disclosure of personal information or sexually explicit images
- An unexpected request to start a friendship or relationship
- A request for payment after responding to an advertisement
- A job offer in which you receive money, keep a portion and remit the rest to a third party
DirtyScam allows users to post their complaints and remain anonymous.
What is Online Defamation / Cyber Libel?
Online defamation is a legal claim involving injury to one’s reputation caused by a false statement of fact. There are several requirements that must be met in order to bring a defamation lawsuit:
- The defendant published the statement (a post on a Website would qualify as publication).
- The statement is about the plaintiff.
- The statement harmed the reputation of the plaintiff.
- The statement was published with some level of fault (negligence or actual malice is usually necessary).
- The statement was published without any applicable privilege.
Statements of pure opinion, which cannot be proven to be either true or false, cannot form the basis of a defamation claim. For example, a claim that someone is “rude” or “obnoxious” is not likely to be actionable. However, a claim that someone has a sexually transmitted disease or is a child abuser could provide a reasonable basis for a defamation claim.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
DirtyScam.com relies on the Communications Decency Act (CDA) which protects the Website from liability for the content posted by others — even if the content is false or defamatory. Under Section 230, “[n]o provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
Section 230 does not provide legal immunity for the actual creator of content. The author of a defamatory statement on DirtyScam remains legally responsible for his or her statements online.
Why is it Difficult to Remove Content from DirtyScam.com?
It can be very difficult to remove a post from DirtyScam.com without the assistance of an online reputation management company or an attorney.
DirtyScam.com relies on the broad immunity provided for in the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to publish user-generated content on their Website without liability for any false or defamatory claims made about a person or business.
According to DirtyScam.com “as a forum we do not have any liability as well as means to verify each information. Once the report has been submitted and available for the public read, the report will stay live for forever, even if the poster wish to delete it or remove it.”
DirtyScam.com encourages people to post accurate information, but they do not verify the accuracy of the information posted on the Website or offer a process for easy removal of content.
In order to remove a post on DirtyScam.com you will usually need to obtain a court order for removal. In a typical case, you can sue an unknown “John Doe” defendant then subpoena his or her Internet service provider (“ISP”) to uncover his or her identity (usually full name and legal address). Once you have “unmasked” the identity of this anonymous individual, you can proceed with a legal action against the individual who posted the defamatory content, and if successful, submit the legal decision to DirtyScam with a request for removal.
Google, Bing and Yahoo have policies stating that they will remove a post from search results after being presented with a court order that determines the content to be false and defamatory.
Fair use allows the limited use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. Fair use tries to balance copyright law, protecting the intellectual property interests of individual and companies, and accommodating freedom of speech and expression.
On a Website like DirtyScam, the use of a company logo or screenshot from a company Website may constitute Fair Use.
Whether any particular use of copyrighted content can be considered fair use must be evaluated on a case by case basis.
How to Use DMCA to Remove Copyright Content from DirtyScam.com
The most effective way to report and remove copyright infringement from a Website is by using a notice and takedown process based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). You can submit a DMCA takedown notification referencing the content being stolen and send it to a Designated Agent. The agent will review the DMCA complaint, and if appropriate, ensure the post (or the relevant portion) is removed from DirtyScam.
Copyright.gov hosts a comprehensive DMCA Designated Agent Directory.
A DMCA notice should include the following:
- An electronic signature of the owner of the copyright (or authorized person)
- An identifying description of the copyrighted material
- A description of the content that you are claiming as an infringement
- Your contact information
There are more details on www.copyright.gov that can help you prepare a DMCA takedown notification.
How to Remove a Post on DirtyScam.com
There are a few ways to remove a post from DirtyScam. You can file a legal action for online defamation against the individual who posted the defamatory content, you can submit a copyright claim if you own the copyright to the content posted on the Website or to ensure fast removal of posts or images that appear on DirtyScam.com, you can hire an online reputation management service.
Reputation Rhino has an experienced team of legal, public relations, marketing, and technology experts and we can offer a 100% money-back guaranteed removal service for DirtyScam.com.