When you hear the words “online bullying” and “cyber harassment”, you probably don’t think of online marketing or business — however they are both very much involved. If you are familiar with the popular online review site called RipOffReport, you may see where this article is already going.
In the world of technology and the internet, your voice can go a long way. The scary thing is that anonymous postings and online trolls can also have a powerful voice when they use sites like RipOffReport to make attacks on people they know, ex-partners, businesses, brands and much more.
First off, it’s extremely important to understand that there is nothing wrong with posting legitimate reviews online — as long as they are telling the truth and that you have the facts to back them up. If someone is posting fake reviews or defamatory information about yourself, business or brand, then you can take legal action against them.
Here is where the RipOffReport situation comes into play. Anything that is written and posted on RipOffReport can be done anonymously, and when this is done, the article content usually ranks very well in the search results for whomever the target is. Another scary point to stress is that it’s extremely hard and expensive to get this information removed from the RipOffReport site — even if it is completely false and defamatory.
An anti-bullying petition on Change.org has the following to say:
Those who have been attacked on RipOff Report have no fair recourse. The site exploits those who are targeted by posters, only offering to take postings down once the victim has paid for a $2000 arbitration that guarantees nothing, or a Corporate Advocacy Program that costs thousands and includes a recurring subscription. By refusing to remove even the most offensive or blatantly fake posts, RipOff Report condones cyber harassment and online abuse.
Googles wants to rank only the best quality content but promotes RipOff Report as a legitimate source when it continually chooses to rank the site higher than credible, sourced and professional written online sources in its search results.
Google and RipOff Report profit from advertising revenue generated by the popularity and shock value of slanderous negative postings. Google made over $50 billion dollars from advertising in 2013, and the number goes up every year. RipOff Report makes an undisclosed amount of money from advertising.
Unfortunately new personalities, companies and brands are getting hurt daily as of the abusive statements that are continually allowed through RipOffReport and their site practices.
To help spread awareness about this issue and get the attention of Google, please sign the petition.