"Reputation management" companies apparently induce randos to perjure themselves by pretending to be anonymous posters

Pissedconsumer has noticed that a bunch of "reputation management" companies are filing lawsuits to get anonymous customer complaints removed, and very quickly identifying the anonymous posters, who swear affidavits okaying the removal of their complaints.

From the perspective of "reputation management" companies, this is literally too good to be true. Normally, to get material removed, they'd first have to get a (nearly impossible) court order requiring a website to cough up the identity of an anonymous poster, then drag the poster into court on a libel charge.

But these companies are able to identify the anonymous posters the same day they file suit. Another thing these companies do on the day they file suit: come into existence. Literally, at least company was incorporated on the day it filed its suit.

The attorneys filing these claims have had their licenses suspended on multiple occasions. Pissedconsumer speculates that the lawyers are manufacturing defendants — getting random people to claim to be the anonymous posters in question, perjuring themselves in sworn statements to the court. Since no one really knows the real identity of the posters, and since coming forward to protest the impersonation would expose the real posters to legal reprisals, its a very neat scam.

The two attorneys behind the filings Pissed Consumer uncovered have had their licenses suspended multiple times. What appears to be happening here — fake companies suing fake defamers — should result in further discipline, if anyone can tie the two to a reputation management firm… or to the defendants who are always magically located and convinced to sign statements with a couple of days of filing.

These two are apparently helping questionable businesses paper over their dismal reputations with possibly fraudulently-obtained court orders. Unfortunately, courts can be manipulated just like search engine results by those willing to try anything to clean up their online reputation. Putting more eyes on this shady reputation management tactic will hopefully expose the entity behind it.

The Latest In Reputation Management: Bogus Defamation Suits From Bogus Companies Against Bogus Defendants
[Tim Cushing/Techdirt]