We briefly touched on the fact that the internet can seem like the Wild West of the late 1800s where anything goes with not many repercussions. However, there are laws in place to protect you against internet defamation; however, it’s exceedingly hard to do with anonymous IP addresses and the like.

Tate Bywater believes in the United States Constitution and our right to free speech. However, we also believe in the distinction between free speech and the intent to use speech to harm someone or a business — and the right to receive compensation for harm done over the internet due to defamation.

Tate Bywater is a top law firm in Prince William County where we have been offering law services for over 40 years. We are a tough law firm who will go after offenders relentlessly and defend our clients to the utmost of our abilities. It is our desire to ensure you have the most favorable outcome. Read more about internet defamation below, and then contact us today for a free consultation!


Internet defamation, plain and simple, is defamation that happens on the internet. Defamation is where a false statement is said or written about you or your business with the intent to cause harm or financial loss. With the internet becoming so widely available and used so often, word can spread quickly, and it’s imperative that you act fast if you or your business are a victim of internet defamation. Internet defamation can be on any platform.

Internet defamation is compounded by the ability to remain anonymous. However, there is hope. When you partner with a top law firm, such as Tate Bywater in Prince William County, it is possible to find out the identity of those who defamed you through subpoenas to websites and internet service providers, forensic linguistic experts, and contextual evidence.


A court order can remove the content deemed to be defamation from search engines. The first step is having the information contained on the page declared defamatory. Next, the court will issue an order to remove it, which will then be sent to the website host or the internet search engine. While not obligated to remove the content, most website search engines will. Google removes all websites found to be defamatory in a court of law.

We can also ask the author to remove the content in a legal proceeding known as an injunction. However, in order to receive an injunction, you have to file a lawsuit and prove the content is defamatory. Once that is done, the court will issue an official order to take the offending material down. However, due to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, internet service providers are not liable for what others post to their sites.

Due to the speed of the internet and how fast things can spread, Tate Bywater usually recommends focusing on having the offending material removed as quickly as possible before focusing on whether to pursue recourse through civil litigation, which can be a lengthy process. Sometimes, all it takes is a letter on our letterhead to do the trick; other times, it’s a bit more complicated than that.


Tate Bywater offers top-notch civil litigation law services, including defamation, as well as other law firm services, such as bankruptcy, business and corporate law, criminal and traffic law, family law, real estate law, and more. We pride ourselves on helping individuals and families in their most difficult and trying times. Our mission is to take some of the burden you are feeling off your shoulders. With our experience and knowledge, we’ll work to get you the favorable outcome you deserve. Contact our civil litigation lawyers today to learn more!