A former disgruntled employee wrote some defamatory comments about me two months ago, and listed them on a site which has a very strong ranking on google. The employee made false claims, and derogatory comments that are completely untrue and I contacted the employee about removing the content.

The employee apologized and attempted to remove the content, but the site will not remove it, and the website hides behind Communications Decency Act or the “CDA”, 47 U.S.C. § 230. This employee signed an NDA and breached the NDA when writing their comments about me and the company.

What do I do? I would like to sue this employee, but she is overseas. I need a court order to have this site be removed by Google.

  • 1
    You do not state where you are located. As a general principle in the United States, you cannot get a court order to have defamatory material removed. Under the First Amendment there is a right to free speech that effectively includes defamatory material. However, when such material injures you, you have the right to collect compensation for your injury. Jul 11, 2016 at 17:32
  • @user3344003, Can you explain what you mean with your statement that:"Under the First Amendment there is a right to free speech that effectively includes defamatory material."? It's my understanding that defamatory speech is not protected by the first amendment. See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – Mr_V
    Jul 11, 2016 at 20:41
  • It is protected. You cannot go to jail for defamatory speech. You cannot be prevented from making defamatory speech—BUT you can be forced to compensate those you defame. That is not the case in countries outside the U.S. Jul 11, 2016 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


The short answer is, get a lawyer. The longer answer is that it is not clear how this works. There is evidence from The Interwebs that one can get a court order to remove defamatory online material such as here. That discussion is centered on facts that don't hold here, e.g. a somewhat cooperative provider or an unknown defamer. It seems that you file an ex parte motion to remove the content and identify the defamer (not sure if that is a required element of the motion). There is a wealth of case law supporting provider immunity. So, it is quite possible that the only remedy is to get the employee to sue the provider forcing them to take down the defamatory material. It would certainly be unjust for a provider to willfully put a customer in permanent legal peril (the threat of being sued). That doesn't mean that it is legally impossible for them to be stubborn.

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