Negative Posts on Social Media are Difficult to Prevent
Search Site
Menu
Can I stop someone from posting negative things about me on the internet?

            This is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions by clients, but perhaps one of the most difficult to answer.  The story usually unfolds like this:

Boyfriend and girlfriend get into fight.  One or both of the parties are injured physically, emotionally or otherwise angered.  One or both begin posting hateful, negative, and intimate details about the other person, which is read by everyone in their social networks.

Another common complaint is: “Someone posted negative reviews about me/my business that are unfounded. “

Unfortunately for the client, the answer as to whether there is a way to prevent someone bad-mouthing them online is most likely a NO.  Every layperson is familiar with the U.S. Constitution’s Freedom of Speech clause, and more knowledgeable people understand what defamation means.   While both of these legal terms are commonly known, they are far less important than one would believe.

Two areas where an injured party is likely to have a legitimate criminal claim are cases of harassment and stalking.  While stalking may be one element of the overall battle between the two trash talking social media accounts, a party is more likely to experience negative posts in the form of harassment.

In Pennsylvania, harassment is found in 18 Pa. Con. Stat. Ann. § 2709, and states:

A person commits the crime of harassment when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another, the person:

(1)  strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects the other person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to do the same;

(2)  follows the other person in or about a public place or places;

(3)  engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which serve no legitimate purpose;

(4)  communicates to or about such other person any lewd, lascivious, threatening or obscene words, language, drawings or caricatures;

(5)  communicates repeatedly in an anonymous manner;

(6)  communicates repeatedly at extremely inconvenient hours; or

(7)  communicates repeatedly in a manner not specified in paragraphs (4), (5), and (6)….

  • 2709(a)(1) further narrows the scope of this law by addressing cyberbullying online to children.

In most  cases, time usually causes one or both parties to cool down and stop posting negative or harassing messages.  Law enforcement is more likely to take action when the content of the messages or posts threaten immediate harm to the target(s).  If the content is extremely specific in detailing what or how harm would be inflicted, the author may be charged with terroristic threats.

As long as there is social media, there will always be issues with what type of speech is permitted, and to what extent.  Next time you think about posting threatening or inappropriate content about someone, think twice or you’ll find yourself requiring my services sooner than you think!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Client Testimonials
  • "Wasn't able to get Tan retained until late due to the judge expediting my case at the request of my son's mother. Tan was still able to help get her request for relocation denied and my Son will be remaining with me as he always has. Can't thank you enough. If you need a good lawyer, I recommend Tancredi Calabrese." - Joseph, Pittsburgh

  • "Very knowledgeable, flex-able and was a wonderful ally in my case. I highly recommend his services. " - Kadeem, Pittsburgh

  • "Extremely professional & does his work at a very exceptional rate. Everything is done in a timely manner, he's very flexible & you can tell that his heart is in his work. It's not about the money to him, it's about doing what is right! I highly recommend him for anything you need! " - Tiffany, Uniontown

  • "Supportive throughout the process with great insight and always willing to help/answer any question. Made a tough situation into an easy and smooth process. " - Zach, Washington

  • "Words cannot express how thankful I am to tan's for handling my divorce. He was very compassionate and professional throughout the whole process. He handled my case with care for both parties involved quickly and effective. Keeping us updated with the entire process day by day. I've never met a lawyer as friendly and caring as he is. I would highly recommend him to anyone I know. I will always turn to him for any legal needs I may have in the future . Thank you tan's!" - Amber, Uniontown

  • "I recently had Tancredi Calabrese represent me. I was very impressed with his extensive legal knowledge and professional character. He has a true passion for what he does and genuinely cares for his clients. I highly recommend retaining him for legal issues." - Lori, Pittsburgh

  • "What a wonderful attorney he is!! He took care of my legal issue so promptly and kindly. He went well above being my lawyer and helped thru some rough personal times also. He definitely stands by his word!!!" - Denise, Pittsburgh

Contact us

Quick Contact Form