Regulatory Compliance Association Reviews

Combating Anonymous Internet Posts: Strategic Considerations for Businesses™

Practice Edge 02

Date: August 13, 2015
General Session: 12 Noon to 1:30 PM EST
Location: Webcast (Free)

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The internet has created a multitude of outlets for disgruntled current and former employees, as well as dissatisfied customers, to anonymously post disparaging statements about an organization and its principals. Businesses attempting to combat these posts have only limited options, because the Communications Decency Act of 1996 provides the hosting website with immunity from offending content, unless the site itself is the provider of the content – which is rare. As a result, organizations are left with tough choices. The session will address the types of speech that are actionable (defamation vs. opinion), options available to overcome anonymous internet posts, and strategies employers can use to achieve the most optimal outcomes. In addition, we will examine various methods designed to prevent such posts in the first instance, such as contract provisions and policies.

Students will develop the following skills at the conclusion of this session:

  • List examples of internet outlets for disparaging anonymous posts
  • Define the elements of defamation
  • Discern types of speech protected by the Communications Decency Act
  • Identify potential strategies and responses available to employers
  • Evaluate and implement the proper response
  • Apply an appropriate cost v. benefit analysis
  • Implement proactive measures to prevent anonymous internet posts

Session Chairman:

Walter Zebrowski, JD, CPA, Principal, Hedgemony Partners
Chairman, Regulatory Compliance Association

Senior Fellow from Practice:

Thomas C. Koessl, JD, Principal, Much Shelist

Guest Lecturers:

Evan D. Brown, JD, Principal, Much Shelist
Sheryl Jaffee Halpern, JD, Principal, Much Shelist

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