The sources of damaging rumours on the Internet can be enormously difficult to track down.
The sources of damaging rumours on the Internet can be enormously difficult to track down. However, in one case, an American tour operator managed to do so and, with the assistance of British lawyers, launched a successful libel action against a couple in the UK.
The company, based in Colorado, had been the subject of wounding allegations on a number of websites around the world. Articles and reviews had appeared online in which the company was accused of dishonesty, serious ethical wrongdoing, defrauding clients and failing to protect travellers, particularly women.
After instructing British solicitors, the company took action against the couple who, in agreeing to a settlement of the case, promised in writing that they would not peddle or repeat the same or similar allegations in the future. They agreed that the facts on which their articles and reports were based were incorrect and that the conclusions which they drew from them were in error.
They acknowledged that information and data which they had published about the company was untrue, excessive, unnecessary, stale and not of public interest. The couple also agreed to take steps to retract and deactivate the offending material from the Internet. The company and two of its directors had launched the proceedings with the sole objective of clearing their names and, in the circumstances, were content to let the matter rest.