Resource Center > Online Reputation Management > How to remove a post from TheDirty.com

How to remove a post from TheDirty.com

 | Updated
by Staff Writer

woman whispering secret to a man

This post has been modified to reflect new information since its original publication.

**Thedirty.com has been taken down since we published this article, but we’re leaving it up because it contains valuable information that can help people with similar problems.

Learning how to remove a post from a site like TheDirty.com is simple.

But it won’t be as easy to execute as you would hope.

The reason it’s so hard is because the internet has allowed us to learn more about ourselves and each other across a staggering number of online platforms. And unfortunately, many of these forums are filled with negative content.

In a disturbing trend, “local gossip” or “burn” websites have become increasingly more popular as the internet has grown.

TheDirty.com was one of the most notable sites that fall under this category, mainly because it let individuals anonymously post photos and commentary on private citizens with zero verification and little recourse.

Sites like TheDirty.com are more than a mere nuisance; they can pose a real threat to the reputations of those who have defamatory comments and other harmful content posted about them.

Here’s what you need to know about the site and how to remove offensive content from similar sites if you’ve been affected.

What exactly is TheDirty.com?

Essentially, TheDirty.com was a celebrity and local gossip site founded in 2007 under the name  DirtyScottsdale.

It focused on posting unsubstantiated gossip and criticism about partygoers in the Scottsdale, Arizona, area.

The DirtyScottsdale quickly ballooned, transforming into TheDirty.com, and expanding its focus to numerous other cities.

Anyone could submit pictures, comments, and videos about any resident of these locations.

Do you have a good online reputation? Find out with our free
Reputation Report Card.
Start Your Scan

And as you might have guessed from the name of the site, this content wasn’t exactly about how great people were.

In fact, TheDirty became a popular destination for envious colleagues, ex-lovers, and others who might have been out for revenge via internet defamation. It was a burn site, which means it encouraged people to be the first to add a damaging post about someone.

Eventually, TheDirty, which called itself the “World’s Largest Gossip Website,” received millions of visits each month, from both frequent users and others who may have been searching for you online.

What’s more, it was notorious for being one of Google’s “highly authoritative” websites, which means that its posts generally appeared first during online searches. That means millions of people every month had the potential to see your dirty laundry.

That’s a pretty serious problem because TheDirty was supposedly dedicated to outing rude, unpleasant, and otherwise dangerous people. But it didn’t seem to verify any of its information.

Average people had archives dating back as far as the site’s inception. This meant mistakes people made long ago during high school or college could still be lingering on the internet without their knowledge.

How much should I worry about posts on TheDirty.com?

Posts on TheDirty, whether they were completely fabricated or just extremely one-sided, could cause long-term damage to your online reputation, especially if they climbed up in your search rankings.

Not only could these unverified posts on this website riddled with damaging content be easily seen by family, friends, and acquaintances, but they also could have been found by potential employers.

Get your free
Reputation Report Card
Start Your Reputation Scan

In today’s digital society, an increasing number of companies are using the internet to look at sources and verify information about job candidates. In fact, 1 in 5 hiring decision-makers (21%) say they are not likely to consider a candidate who doesn’t have an online presence.

They are looking for bad content, anything that will negatively impact them. Do you blame them? Their online reputation affects their bottom line.

Based on the search results they find, a staggering 79% of recruiters in the United States claim that they will ultimately turn job candidates away. So, if a prospective employer finds disparaging posts about you on a site like TheDirty, you may find yourself facing the same consequences in your own professional life.

It may seem as though TheDirty was proliferating defamatory content that could be considered illegal, but sites like this are still largely protected under U.S. law. (Laws in other countries may vary.) To fully understand why, it’s important to look at two aspects of law that make it difficult to take action against these types of sites.


Libel may be a crime in the U.S., but it’s a crime with a very specific and narrow definition that makes deleting a post from TheDirty.com and similar sites quite tricky. This legal term refers to untrue comments made in writing that have a negative effect on a person’s reputation. The person who makes these comments does not need to do so with malicious intent for them to fall under the definition of libel; it’s only necessary for the statement to be untrue and damaging to the individual mentioned.

Do you have a good online reputation? Find out with our free
Reputation Report Card.
Start Your Scan

Though U.S. libel laws have been around for nearly 300 years, this crime can be surprisingly difficult to prove in court, and those who do win often have their verdicts overturned in higher courts.

This is because the court differentiates between falsified statements of fact and statements of opinion.

You’re allowed, under the Constitution, to state that you don’t like somebody on the internet, and courts are often very specific about the difference between an opinion and something presented as a fact.

You can only prove libel to a U.S. court in three ways:

  1. You have to demonstrate that the statement was false.
  2. You need to prove that the statement caused some form of damage to you.
  3. You must verify that the information mentioned was not properly researched before it was published.

Sometimes, you may also be required to substantiate additional damages that you incurred due to the libelous comments. And all of this can be more complicated than you may think.

Take a bad break-up, for example.

Your former partner goes online and posts a long, messy entry on his or her Facebook that tells it entirely from his or her perspective. If he or she leaves out certain facts that would explain your actions or justify your behavior, that’s not libel, because the ex isn’t making any false statements.

All of this makes taking a libel case to court not only difficult, but also time-consuming and expensive.

Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act

Unfortunately for those who are subjected to defamatory posts on sites like TheDirty.com, these sites are largely protected from legal action due to the U.S. Communications Decency Act (CDA). (Laws in other countries may vary.)

This legislation protects the free market and promotes the growth of the internet by removing liability from websites like TheDirty should certain malicious content appear on their webpages.

Get your free
Reputation Report Card
Start Your Reputation Scan

Under the CDA,the owner of an “interactive computer service” can’t be held responsible for the posts that third-party users write and submit to the owner’s website.

TheDirty even specified on its Legal FAQs page that you could only sue the author of the post (not the forum itself) if he or she spread falsehoods about you.

The CDA protected TheDirty in court when a schoolteacher and former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader filed a lawsuit against the site after slanderous anonymous posts about her appeared in 2009.

The jury sided with the cheerleader, who won $388,000 in damages.

However, the defendant took the case to an appeals court, which ruled that the case against TheDirty should never have been allowed.

The panel of judges cited the CDA in their decision to overturn the initial ruling, saying that the legislation fully protected TheDirty owner and his website against such lawsuits.

[Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8kvC681Vw]

Given how difficult it is to take legal action against sites like TheDirty, you’ll probably need to erase a post from these kinds of sites through other means.

Is it easy to remove posts from sites like TheDirty.com?

It depends. Technically speaking, you can remove a post by going through these sites directly; some have a page where you can request that posts be removed.

There are usually two main paths toward removal:

1. You can present the site with a court order mandating the removal of the content in question. In the case of TheDirty, the site didn’t consider itself to be the “Truth Police,” so its staff wouldn’t go to extra lengths to determine whether any given post was true or false.

Do you have a good online reputation? Find out with our free
Reputation Report Card.
Start Your Scan

On your own, you needed to prove unequivocally that the post included false information about you. If you could do so in court, TheDirty would take the order into account and likely take down the erroneous content.

This could be difficult, however, because most posts on the site contained opinions, which couldn’t be proven false.

2. You can contact the site’s legal department and ask them to remove a post if it has violated one of the site’s policies.

In the case of TheDirty, these fell under a few major categories: Posts that featured sexually explicit materials or revenge porn, posts that contained pictures of children under the age of 13, and posts that mentioned personal information. TheDirty also required its users to comply with other policies, prohibiting them from posting someone’s copyrighted materials and making violent threats.

However, if the post you wanted taken down didn’t meet one of these criteria, the site likely ignored your request.

As you can see, even though TheDirty claimed its removal policies were “ lenient,” it could still be difficult to get a post taken down. Posts that go up on these kinds of sites tend to stay up unless challenged in some way, shape, or form, or deleted as part of fallout from another matter, such as lost site data.

In short, you really shouldn’t expect sites like TheDirty to even consider deleting a post about you without being explicitly asked to do so. As such, you may need to take other routes when looking to have your posts taken down.

Get your free
Reputation Report Card
Start Your Reputation Scan

For example, you can try petitioning search engines to remove links to the offending content. Search engines like Google will often remove links from their search results if they contain personal information such as medical records, signatures, and explicit photos that were posted without your permission.

A foolproof method, however, is to simply bury the TheDirty content and similar posts. Fewer than 1% of people searching for your name on Google look past page one, so the further down you can push a TheDirty-type link, the less likely it is that anyone will see it. You may not be erasing a post from the site, but you’ll be doing the next best thing.

What else can I do to deal with TheDirty.com posts?

If you don’t want anonymous internet slander to define you, ReputationDefender can help you bury this kind of negative content under more positive materials. Don’t let people who dislike you control your life; call ReputationDefender today for a free consultation.

And if you want to see how others view your reputation online right now, grab your free reputation report card and instantly find out what the internet is telling people about you.