A business can take years and decades to build, only to be brought to ruin by an anonymous and malicious person or organization that decides to tarnish their online reputation without any foundation.
That’s the view of Melbourne-based digital media and SEO agency, Xugar that deals with the digital fallout of businesses that have been maligned and slandered online. Xugar also suggests that disreputable digital marketeers even offer bad reviews of competitors as a service.
The digital age presents enormous opportunities for business, but the ability of anonymous people, some with malicious intent and sometimes no direct experience with a business, can quickly become a nightmare for business owners.
Recently a Melbourne dentist sought legal permission to force Google to reveal the identity of a person who gave him a terrible review so that he could launch a defamation action.
It’s a path that Xugar believes is avoidable if the Australian government passes legislation making malicious reviews without a provable foundation illegal.
‘At the moment there is a lot of concern about people and organisations being impugned online without any legal requirement that those claims be substantiated,’ said Sagar Sethi, Managing Director of Xugar.
‘People’s livelihoods are at stake and the legislative framework at the moment is a bit wild west. Anything seems permissible in terms of digital damage, and its digital agencies like ours that have to clean up the damage.
‘What we’re calling for is for the government and digital platforms like Google, or Facebook, to protect businesses from unfair and slanderous reviews – whether by the public or a competitor – by instituting penalties,’ said Mr Sethi.
The call out to digital and social media platforms comes at a time when Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg are under enormous heat over allowing the publication of fake news to go unchecked on its platform.
Two weeks ago Jack Dorsey from Twitter began putting fact-checking notifications on Donald Trump’s tweets, adding additional pressure on Mr Zuckerberg to act.
‘There are a lot of sharks circulating in the digital world offering not only to add fake positive reviews to your business, but fake negative reviews to competitors,’ said Mr Sethi.
‘It’s lawless, it’s unfair, and it’s high time that people doing that type of thing were held accountable and disreputable digital practice was cleaned up in Australia. The post COVID-19 economic recovery is going to be hard enough without dealing with digital subterfuge.’
Xugar is a leading digital marketing and growth agency based in Melbourne, Australia. For years they have been helping businesses grow online through SEO, Content marketing, online advertising and more. For more information visit https://xugar.com.au.
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