There are two parts to how we look online. The first is how we present ourselves through social media, blogs, and other methods within our control. The other is how others present us online via blogs, news articles, and other content. Unfortunately, just like our social media accounts can accidentally misrepresent us, others can accidentally or deliberately misrepresent us online.
How do you remove an article from the Internet? Here's how to do it, step-by-step.
Contact the Author And Have Them Remove The Online Article
If possible, start with the author. Contact them directly and politely explain your perspective and concerns. Ask them if it would be possible to take down the content in question, or revise to reflect the information you've provided. Professionals such as journalists are more likely to listen to you, especially if you're professional and polite.
If the Author Says No, Contact the Site and Ask Them to Erase The Article From The Internet
If the author will not speak to you, or speaking with them is not an option, you can contact the site the article is posted on directly and discuss your conerns. If it's a social media or blogging site, check their Terms of Service, often abbreviated as "TOS", to see if the article in question violates any of the site's practices. Few sites tolerate outright slander or similar behavior and may have other restrictions in place, and violating them often means the article is removed from the Internet.
Again, being polite and calm is your best tactic to delete an online article. Explain the situation from your perspective clearly and articulate your concerns. If you don't think it's a violation of the terms of service, ask them if they can provide any recourse for your situation.
Sometimes, asking will erase it.
If the Site Says No, Contact the Search Engine and Ask Them to Remove The Article
Contrary to popular belief, search engines do care what people want to find and do want to listen to your concerns. For example, Google offers recourse for people who want to have links about them removed for legal or personal reasons, or removed because the information about them is outdated. It's important to note that each request has to be made individually, and the search engine is not legally obligated to remove the links except under very specific circumstances, generally having to do with media piracy. But it's worth asking, and it may end with the article being removed from the Internet
If All Else Fails, Bury It
Sometimes, the best defense against slurs to your character is a good offense. Few people look past the first few search results when Googling a topic, and few if any bother with the second page of results. By working to ensure that good news about you personally is not only out there, but getting high amounts of traffic to those articles, can boost them in the rankings. It won't delete the article from the Internet, but it will have largely the same effect.
ReputationDefender can help you keep your reputation online. Whether it's through tracking and repairing attempts to smear you or simply helping you define yourself online ReputationDefender will help you ensure that whenever a client, a first date, or even just the general Internet looks you up, they see your best face first.