Online Reviews

Fradulent Reputation Management Lawsuits

If you can prove that you did nothing to cause a negative review, then you can go to court and get that negative review removed if a judge orders it. A man named Richart Ruddie has been taking advantage of this fact, according to a news report originally published on Boing Boing.

For a fee of $6,000, Mr. Ruddie claims that he can have any negative reviews removed from any site. He simply takes the person who wrote the negative review to court and gets a judge to say that the information is defamatory to his client. In most cases, the judge sees it as a waste of valuable court time and gives Mr. Ruddie his judgement. Once Mr. Ruddie has the slip of paper, he then takes it to either the company hosting the site of the negative review or Google demanding that the information be removed.

In some cases as reported on, Mr. Ruddie appears to be making up fictitious characters which usually makes the case easier for the judge to decide. If the judge decides not to agree with Mr. Ruddie, then he simply withdraws the case and files it in a neighboring county.

There have been at least 25 cases filed since Mr. Ruddie began the process in November 2015. Lawyers with the UCLA and Public Citizen say that many of the words used in the court filings are simply cut and pasted from one filing to the next. Many times the person who has paid money to Mr. Ruddie does not even know that the court case have been filed. Apparently, he may be very good at forging signatures.

Now, if it seems like $6,000 paid to have a negative review removed seems like a lot of money, some doctors and dentists say that having even one negative review costs them more than that fee in the long run. First, they may lose patients who read the negative review. Many say, however, that the most detrimental effect comes when its time to pay their malpractice insurance. It seems that insurance companies are reading the reviews and raising some practioners rates.


Should Colleges Teach Online Reputation Management?

Colleges have courses on virtually every subject. One subject that is missing is reputation management. has published a solid article suggesting institutions of higher learning put resources into teaching young persons how to effectively manager their good names. Or, for that matter, there should be some instruction on how to improve a name that may have been sullied a bit.

The search engines reveal a lot about a person. The activities of an individual online reveal action. People are defined by both actions and interests. A search on and the internet may reveal both. Anyone who has been involved with controversies, well, this is going to be revealed via the search. Serious damage can be done to the career prospects of a recent college graduate – or anyone at any stage in his or her career – if prospective employers come across things that cast a candidate in a negative light.

The notion that colleges should start instructing students would infuse something of great practical value. Sadly, practical skills are sometimes missing from curriculums. Theoretical, technical, and other traditional approaches to learning do have their perennial value. Universities, however, sometimes do not venture outside of tradition too quickly. Online reputation management is highly important in all professional circles these days. Universities should provide some insight to students regarding how their online adventures could alter their future and not necessarily in a good way.

Online reputation management is something many people end up doing at some point. The sooner someone understands the importance of this process, the easier it becomes to deal with or avoid professional reputation damage.