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Innocence lost: 3 tips when facing online character assassination

Character assassination is not a new thing. People have dealt with false accusations and presumptions of guilt for generations. Although these attempts are not novel, the process used to achieve this goal has evolved.

Gone are the days when one person would verbally share information with another in an attempt to damage a foe's reputation. Today it only takes the click of a button and false accusations can be shared with millions.

How has social media changed the impact of accusations of criminal activity? Our nation is founded on the notion that those who are accused of wrongdoing are innocent until proven guilty. This foundational belief is often thrown out the window when it comes to posts on social media. People are quick to condemn others before letting the justice system review the case, often before even knowing the most basic facts of the case.

This can destroy a person's reputation, making it almost impossible for those who are wrongly accused of a crime to move on with their lives.

What about victims of false accusations? Although it is difficult to find yourself the victim of online character assassination, it is important to know that there are proactive measures that can be taken to reduce the damage. It is also important to know that you are not alone. The issue has become so prevalent that the Huffington Post published a piece addressing the problem. Some of the more helpful tips include:

  • Defamation is rarely rational. If you are wrongly accused of committing a crime, keep in mind that the person or persons making the accusations are rarely acting rationally.
  • Fight back. It is important to clarify this point. It is not wise to fight back on social media or enter into a physical altercation. However, it is also unwise to ignore the allegations. Instead, when these accusations lead to criminal charges it is generally best to build a strong defense.
  • Start anew. Once the crisis passes, move on. For some, this may mean physically relocating, for others it may mean mentally putting the event behind them.

Victims of defamation or character assassination have options. Do not ignore the charges. Seek legal counsel to better ensure your innocence perseveres.

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