Have You Been 'Victimized, Bullied and Misrepresented' Online?
Between revenge websites, consumer reviews, complaint sites and the proliferation of personal blogs, there are an infinite number of ways for individuals to share their grievances.
This may be great for angry complainers, but it can be very detrimental to those whose names are dragged through the mud.
"We see horror stories about people who are attacked, victimized, bullied and misrepresented online," Mike Zammuto, President of Reputation Changer , told Benzinga.
Reputation Changer is, just as the title suggests, a reputation repair company. The company offers a variety of services, but its primary goal is to clean the first three pages of a client's search results on Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) and Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) search engine, Bing.
"I think the defense lawyer metaphor is an appropriate one," said Zammuto. "We're there to help our clients in the court of public opinion. We absolutely do that and we help them tell their story. They need someone on their side in the same way that a defense lawyer might take their side."
Reputation Changer does not accomplish this by attempting to alter negative blogs, reviews or anything else.
"The facts are the facts," said Zammuto. "If you've done something that deserves public scrutiny, that scrutiny continues to exist."
Zammuto said that his clients range from people that have been victimized and bullied online to "people [and companies] that have made a legitimate mistake but don't want it to represent their entire life."
While Zammuto said that most of his clients are either innocent or fighting to overcome a mistake they regret, there are a few who have made his job more difficult than necessary.
"We have a client whose negatives are that she keeps showing up on one of these CheaterVille-type sites," he said. "We've said to her, 'Look, you know you wouldn't have this problem if you'd stop being a home wrecker.'"
Zammuto said that he feels it is fair to say that the unnamed woman is "in violation of societal norms."
"She's unapologetic about it," he said. "She says, 'It's none of your business. I want you to help me.' You can't take those things off of CheaterVille. If you go there, these things are written about her and they are unpleasant."
Even so, Zammuto has tried his best to help her.
"She has a profession and a personal life and we help her tell her story so that those [negative reports] are not the only things out there," he said.
When asked if the mysterious home wrecker was a famous Twilight actress, Zammuto assured Benzinga that it was not Kristen Stewart.
"That's a funny question, but no," he said. "We do have some celebrity clients -- [but] not Kristen Stewart."
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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