Business Reputation Management
Most of the time, it isn’t possible to directly delete content that someone else has posted online. That said, there are a handful of situations in which you can get information removed. If your issue falls under one of the following scenarios, then it does often make sense to pursue deletion.
PEOPLE SEARCH SITES
Online people-search companies scour the Internet collecting personally identifiable information about people. They compile this information in profiles and then sell it to anyone who asks for it. Sometimes these profiles appear prominently in an individual’s search results. In those cases, you can usually issue an opt-out request to have your information removed. The profile should then disappear from your search results within a couple of weeks.
COPYRIGHT OR LEGAL CLAIMS
If the information posted is your own creative work not created under contract, then you can file a DMCA copyright claim and have the material removed. This is especially useful for photos. Similarly, truly defamatory content can usually be challenged through the courts. In both cases, however, the process can be costly and timely. You can also be penalized for filing a claim without merit, and sometimes the legal action itself can attract more unwanted attention than the original link. So if you do decide to go this route, make sure you get good legal advice from an attorney who specializes in Internet law.
Social media violations: If someone posts negative content about you on a social network, you may be able to appeal to the site to get it removed. For this approach to work, you’ll need to show why the post violates the social network’s terms of service. For instance, Facebook’s community standards policy states that they will remove content that includes bullying, criminal activity, hate speech, and similar threats to safety. There will usually be a link or a tool attached to the post that will allow you to file a report. Before you submit a request, however, be absolutely sure that your situation qualifies under the terms of service.