ShesAHomeWrecker.com is a popular online gossip website that describes its mission statement to help “discover and expose the world’s homewreckers”. ShesAHomeWrecker boasts approximately 600,000 fans on Facebook and the Website receives thousands of visits monthly.
If you are looking for a new job, applying for college or graduate school, have a meeting with a client or business partner, or looking for a new relationship, a post on ShesAHomeWrecker.com can be very damaging to your reputation.
What is ShesAHomeWrecker.com?
The goal of ShesAHomeWrecker.com is to expose women that allegedly break up marriages and ruin families. Anyone can submit a post to ShesAHomeWrecker, and all that is required is providing a name and email address.
The posting will typically include the first name and last name of the individual and her city and/or state. Users who submit a post to ShesAHomeWrecker are able to remain anonymous. ShesAHomeWrecker will not independently review the content posted on its Website to determine whether it is true or not.
While some of the sordid tales of extramarital affairs and infidelity described on the site are probably true, there are many posts that include exaggerated claims or complete fabrications by jealous spouses or angry ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends.
What is Online Defamation / Cyber Libel?
False statements of fact made online, with the intention of ruining the reputation of a person or company is online defamation. Online defamation or cyber libel are based on classic legal terms that have been updated for the digital age.
A post on ShesAHomeWrecker can destroy a relationship or cost someone a promotion, a raise, or even a job. If the content is false and damages are provable, you may be able to pursue a claim of online defamation against the individual who posted the content, after you have identified the individual.
When a potentially defamatory statement is made on ShesAHomeWrecker that involves the written (or “posted”) word, it is considered libel. The term “slander” is frequently misused in connection with online content and refers to “spoken content” such as through a video transcription, podcast, or audio file.
Why is it Difficult to Remove Content from ShesAHomeWrecker.com?
It can be very difficult to remove content from ShesAHomeWrecker.com. Opinions are protected speech. Truth, however painful and hurtful, is an absolute defense to a claim of defamation. Another challenge removing content from ShesAHomeWrecker.com is that the person who posted the content is usually anonymous, and “unmasking” an individual is a complicated, time-consuming, and expensive legal process.
In most cases, you will need either a copyright infringement takedown notification, a court order, the assistance of an online reputation management company or attorney.
In the Website’s Terms and Conditions, it states that: “We do not fact-check posts or comments submitted by users and cannot ensure the accuracy of any content presented on [ShesAHomeWrecker] by third parties. Content appearing on this site may contain rumors, speculation, assumptions, opinions and other unverified information from our users. Because they are not verified, postings may contain erroneous or inaccurate information. [ShesAHomeWrecker] makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or authenticity of the information or opinions.”
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and the anonymity afforded to individuals on a site like ShesAHomewrecker have created some challenging obstacles for someone trying to remove a post.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) provides protection for providers and users of an “interactive computer service” like ShesAHomeWrecker from liability for third-party content that they publish. Specifically, Section 230 provides that “No 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”.
In other words, ShesAHomeWrecker does not have to verify the accuracy or truthfulness of the user-generated content on its site.
According to ShesAHomeWrecker “[w]e are not the truth police and will not remove content just because someone has made an unverified claim that a post is false.” Even though Section 230 protects ShesAHomeWrecker from liability for a malicious, false, or defamatory statement made by someone on its Website, the author of the defamatory statement, may be held legally responsible.
Fair Use permits the use of copyrighted material without authorization from the copyright owner. Even if the owner of the copyrighted content does not want someone else to use the content, others may still be able to do so and claim Fair Use.
Determining Fair Use depends on the following:
- The intended purpose for the material
- Nature of the copyrighted work
- Amount of content borrowed
- Effect of the content used on the value of the copyrighted work
Generally, Fair Use may make it difficult to remove a post or images on ShesAHomeWrecker.com. Consider whether the content may qualify as Fair Use before attempting to remove it from the Website.
How to Use DMCA to Remove Copyright Content from ShesAHomeWrecker.com
ShesAHomeWrecker.com states that it is compliant with The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). You can use a DMCA notice to remove a content on ShesAHomeWrecker.com that includes copyright-protected material. Upon receipt of a compliant takedown notice, ShesAHomeWrecker must respond “expeditiously” to remove, or disable access to, the infringing material.
A DMCA takedown notification sent to ShesAHomeWrecker.com must include the following:
1. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
2. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
3. Identification of the material on ShesAHomeWrecker.com that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material.
4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit ShesAHomeWrecker.com to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
5. A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of on ShesAHomeWrecker.com is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
A reputation management service can help you prepare a DMCA notification and submit to the designated agent for ShesAHomeWrecker.com for removal of copyright-protected material.
Before you submit a DMCA takedown notice to remove a post from ShesAHomeWrecker.com there are a few important things to remember.
First, ShesAHomeWrecker.com is under no legal obligation to remove the entire post, even if you submit a valid DMCA notification, only the infringing content must be removed by the Website. For example, if the image posted on ShesAHomeWrecker.com is copyright-protected, only the image would be removed, not the entire post.
Second, Websites like ShesAHomeWrecker.com have a strong interest in interpreting Fair Use as broadly as possible. On its copyright page, it states: “[a]lthough we always reserve the right to remove images if we believe they violate our standards, we generally will not remove images when it appears they are being used in a way that qualifies as fair use. That standard applies even when we receive a DMCA take down notice, so if you have sent a removal request which was denied, it is probably because we believed the image(s) qualified as fair use.”
In other words, although DMCA may seem like the best way to remove content from ShesAHomeWrecker.com, it has some significant limitations. Fair Use is a formidable obstacle to overcome.
How to Remove a Post on ShesAHomeWrecker.com
There are a few ways to remove a post on ShesAHomeWrecker. You can file a lawsuit against the individual who posted false and damaging content alleging online defamation, and if successful obtain a court order to require ShesAHomeWrecker to remove the defamatory post. You can submit a DMCA takedown notification to ShesAHomeWrecker alleging copyright infringement, and if successful, the Website would remove the infringing content. To ensure fast and effective removal of posts or images that appear on ShesAHomeWrecker, you can hire an online reputation management service.