There are many times in business where you have to take accountability for things you’ve done wrong. But what happens when someone accuses you of something you haven’t done?
False allegations can be harmful to your reputation and can ultimately affect your ability to generate customers. Such allegations could include anything from fake negative reviews dismissing your customer service to fraudulent public injury claims or even convictions of criminal behaviour.
Knowing how to react to these false allegations can help you to reduce any damage caused by them and will allow you to recover. Below are a few tips on how to defend your business against false allegations.
Politely ask for content to be removed
If someone posts something harmful on social media or posts a negative review, you may be able to ask for it to be removed. This could include messaging the person directly, or contacting the platform. In some cases, this will result in the content being taken down.
It’s important to stay polite when asking for content to be removed. If you threaten a user to remove content, they may be able to sue you. Be wary that some trolls may try to further antagonise you by posting more false allegations. Try not to lose your temper with them.
Collect evidence to support your defence
The best way to defend yourself from false allegations is to collect evidence that shows you clearly did nothing wrong. This could be anything from a legal contract to CCTV footage.
You may be able to share this publicly providing that it doesn’t contain sensitive information. However, often the best way forward is to seek out advice from a lawyer first – by showing them the evidence, they can advise you on the best way to use it in your defence.
Invest in some positive PR
It’s worth trying to encourage some positive media attention. This media attention could help to outweigh any negative media attention and could restore your reputation.
A good example is this article written about David Friend CBS. You can contact media outlets directly yourself to help generate media coverage, however you may find that the best option is to hire a PR company that already has all the right contacts.
Business insurance schemes such as professional indemnity insurance can help to pay off legal claims directed at you – regardless of whether they are false claims. This may help to diffuse these claims if you don’t want to go through the process of defending yourself in court.
Know when to sue
Sometimes the only way to defend yourself from false allegations is to fight your corner by filing a lawsuit. You may be able to sue the person making the allegation for libel or slander if they said untrue things about you. There are lawyers that specialise in defamation cases that can help you to form your defence. You’ll need to make sure that you have suitable grounds for making a lawsuit, which may involve being able to prove that the allegations have caused damage.