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Who is the Rip Off Report owner? Can you remove content from Ripoff Report? Get answers here.
Who is the Rip Off Report owner?
Ed Magedson is the chief editor of the website Ripoff Report. The Rip Off Report owner is Arizona-based Xcentric Ventures LLC, founded by Magedson himself in 1997. The controversial website went online in 1998.
It claims to be a guardian of free speech, providing consumers a way to share important information. Yet, detractors say Ripoff Report is a thinly-disguised “protection racket.”
The problem is that the Ripoff Report allows anonymous postings without verifying the claims.
So, what can you do? The only way to deal with a Ripoff Report post is respond or pursue legal action against the reviewer.
To make matters worse, Ripoff Report’s policy states it will never remove any post. This is true even if you prove it false or the original poster requests the removal.
This statement is partially accurate, as users may amend posts for a costly fee.
We recommend a better, far less-costly alternative at the end of this article. However, here is the current “protection racket’ of the Rip Off Report owner:
Xcentric Ventures LLC offers a service online reputation management service called its Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program.
The website does not publish its service fees. However, in 2013, the Ripoff Report owner charged clients an upfront fee of $7,500 and $100 per month for monitoring. He also asked for a report charge of $600 per report for up to 20 reports during that three-year period.
Add those amounts, and the payment over three years might be $23,100 or higher.
Some businesses paid nearly $100,000 for this service to have the Ripoff Report postings about them modified with multiple negative postings.
The postings stay online, but they magically shift from negative comments to positive ones (edited by Ripoff Report staff) after a company or individual pays a huge amount of money.
Those that paid such high amounts did so because of the enormous damage the negative postings did to their business.
If this service sounds like extortion to you, then you are not alone.
The Ripoff Report owner Magedson claims to be a consumer advocate. He even hails slogans like “Don’t let them get away with it!” and “Let the truth be known!”
Users must sign up to post and agree to the terms and conditions nobody hardly ever reads.
Users agree not to use the website to engage in defamation, lying, or harassing others by using a false complaint. Yet, that is exactly what users can do on this “gripe” website, where they are making an anonymous post.
The Ripoff Report is like trolling on steroids.
Compare the Ripoff Report procedures to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB requires identity verification of the complainants and publicly identifies who is making a complaint on the BBB website.
The BBB also has a policy of hiding complaints after changing to a “complaint satisfied” standard set by the BBB.
On Ripoff Report, all complaints stay in public view forever. That is, unless a person gets a court order to force removal.
Getting a court order to remove a Ripoff Report posting is possible; however, it is expensive and difficult to achieve.
Xcentric Ventures LLC and Magedson have been sued dozens of times. The Ripoff Report won nearly all cases brought forward under U.S. jurisdiction. The company fights legal cases intensely, making it very expensive to challenge them.
Additionally, lawsuits increase the public exposure of the damaging information.
Ripoff Report Ed Magedson hides in an undisclosed location protected by a secret security force. He claims many people threatened to kill him, and he thinks if they could find him, they would.
Ripoff Report typically uses the 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA) as cover.
The CDA states that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
Online defamation by libelous posts is illegal; however, the responsible party under the CDA law makes the post, not the Rip Off Report owner for publishing it. A lawsuit against the party who made the post is appropriate; however, they are anonymous, so it is difficult to know and then prove who they are.
And even if the lawsuit succeeds, the only victory is financial damages. It doesn’t include removing the post from the Ripoff Report website.
Some users post on Ripoff Report and then changed their minds. Yet even in these cases, the Ripoff Report owner refused to remove their posts.
Other users made a mistake with a complaint about a wrongly named entity, and the Rip Off Report owner refused to remove or modify the post.
To remove a post on the Ripoff Report is costly. An arbitration procedure requires an upfront $2,000 arbitration fee for a single post.
Challenging that post comes with additional arbitration costs. This is not an attractive option because it is very difficult to prove a post is untruthful.
As an example, say someone accuses a person of being a sexual predator. How does that person prove this is not true? How does it feel to see a headline like “Alleged Sexual Predator Claims He is Not a Rapist?”
Sensational and outrageous posts on the Ripoff Report tend to rank well in Google search.
Courts usually don’t hold Ripoff Report responsible party for anonymous postings by others. This is true even if the postings are vile, irresponsible, defamatory, reckless, and complete lies.
Online complaint websites serve to warn others about scams, defective products, lousy customer service, and bad practices. It is very challenging to strike a balance between posting legit complaints and permitting defamation.
Many think what the Ripoff Report owner does is wrong. Xcentric Ventures allows and promotes negative postings without any attempt to verify the information. It is clearly participatory in defamation.
The company makes money from the advertisements on its website. The web traffic is generated from Google search. The more outrageous postings attract more web visitors.
There is little censorship of the posting content and no verification of accuracy.
Users are free to make any outrageous claims they like. They may use language that many people might think is offensive.
Ripoff Report posts might say things like “I think this person is a low-life POS” to describe a female executive. In the era “Me Too,” this is completely unacceptable. Yet, the Ripoff Report has legal protections for this type of “hate” speech.
To prevail in a defamation lawsuit, the cyber libel must be proven by meeting the following requirements:
Here are a few of the lawsuits where the use of Section 250 of the CDA got the cases dismissed:
Typically, judges rule that even though Ripoff Report practices are reprehensible, they are protected by the CDA. The liability, if it exists, rests on the party who wrote the post, not Xcentric Ventures, LLC.
Internet guru Neil Patel recommends using the free rebuttal option on Ripoff Report, identify the complainant by guessing who it is, if possible, and name them in the rebuttal. Offer a very reasonable, even generous, solution to the supposed problem.
If the post is inaccurate, simply say the information is completely false and designed with the intent to harm.
Hire an expert reputation management company to create a strategy to drive down the negatives in the search results caused by the Rip Off Report owner.
If Ripoff Report is hurting your online reputation, contact us today.
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