Letter: Enlisting your support on a right to redress action
Enlisting your support on a right to redress action
I have a business in your constituency. It has been the subject of damaging online allegations and distortion.
The allegations are unsubstantiated and anonymous. The website they are published on does not verify the identity of the author of the comments. They have no way of checking that the author was actually a customer. They do not attempt to verify the truthfulness of any remarks made.
Anyone can post comments on the site – including those that are motivated by malice to damage my reputation and that of my business, such as unscrupulous competitors or people I have had to take perfectly legitimate actions against.
The number of online comments published about my business is not anywhere near numerous enough to be regarded as a truly reflective sample.
When Internet users search for my business, at the top of the results, they see denigration and falsehoods that in no way reflect the true standards of my business. I support freedom of speech entirely – but what is happening would be better described as freedom of deceit.
In the majority of cases, the website operators do not accept responsibility for comments published on their site. They can refuse to do anything to correct damaging falsehoods and distortion. In such circumstances, the only action open to me and all others in my position is to go through a process of legally claiming defamation. If, as is likely, my claims are contested, then the case would have to be heard in the High Court. It would take years to conduct and is likely to cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. I can not begin to afford either the time or money.
Only the very wealthy can possibly afford such resolutions. The overwhelming majority of citizens and businesses are left without any effective redress.
I am therefore asking you to support my case both by raising it in the in the UK Parliament and in the European Court of Human Rights.
I am asking for effective redress and changes that will result in both reputable businesses and citizens being protected from abuse and distortion. – and the provision of much more reliable information on the standards of businesses to consumers. These objectives are achievable by the application of relatively simple diligence and fair and ethical behaviour by the website owners.
My request to you is being carried out as part of a campaign by many victims of this type of abuse and is being coordinated by KwikChex a well known campaigner for greater reliability of online information and prevention of Internet harassment, deceit and distortion.
I will be happy to provide you with the specific details of my case and in the first instance, would ask you to confirm that you are willing to discuss this with KwikChex so as to get a clear view of the serious nature and scale of the problem – and to receive details of the submission they are making to the ECHR. Their contact details are below.
(Right to Redress Support)
5 St Stephens Court
St Stephens Road