Should you defend your reputation against Internet Trolls and other cowardly haters online?

With the continued increase of internet usage around the globe we can see that it is bringing  a great many changes to the world and giving a voice to many, often an anonymous voice without the normal reactions that face to face situations evoke, writes Jamie McIntyre

Along with all good innovations comes a darker side where lesser evolved in society, whether from a sense or unworthiness or feeling a lack of significance in their own lives, dedicate their spare time to defaming and disparaging others online through Internet forums, twitter or other social media and worse still through extortion/blackmail type websites run by criminals.

This kind of behaviour is something as a business owner or even an individual you may eventually be a victim of, especially if you develop a large public or online profile.


Reputation Management for companies and those with public profiles is becoming big business as celebrities, entrepreneurs and even every day
people become targets for the less evolved in society to get their kicks from slandering others and defaming people to make themselves
somehow feel more significant or from the scam artists who are making money from creating hate sites and taking large payments to have the material removed.

One investigation we carried out found that a site called posing as a warning to Australians about ‘rip offs’ was being run by a criminal organisation and simply posted defamatory information, encouraged comments and other posters. Upon investigation of an alleged scam against one company we were able to track down the source of one poster who wasn’t even a client of the company he was defaming.

Apparently this site charged significant fees to have the post removed. The less intelligent with hate in their hearts will link to such sites as references for their own deluded campaigns and use such information as though it is fact. This can all happen online, anonymously and without fear of reproach.

Some people gain significance by  building the worlds tallest buildings whilst others gain significance by destroying some of the worlds tallest buildings such as what happened on Sept 11.

Some people like creating things, building people and things up whilst others gain significance by tearing things down like terrorists. The internet enables cowards hiding behind anonymous screen names to become cyber terrorists, internet bullies and internet trolls, lurking in the shadows of the dark internet world waiting for another target to slander because  either they are bored with their own life that lacks meaning or they have discovered the ways of the Mafia to extort money online from others.


I had the honour of meeting with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year.

Most of us would agree that Oprah is a clear force for good in the world, an amazing women with such dedication  to a cause so much bigger then herself that it is hard to imagine anyone hating on her; however she was even lamenting about the cowardly internet attacks she gets on social media.

She said wouldn’t it be cool to find out who these cowards are and rock up to their front door and say “if you have something to say then why don’t you say it to my face”.

Or course as we know the cyber bullies don’t have a lot of courage as evidenced by them remaining anonymous and won’t say such things in person to their targets as they simply don’t have such courage. We can all imagine what would be the result in many cases if some of the things written online were spoken directly to ones face. We find that the less someone knows someone personally then the more likely they are to say hurtful, slanderous and false things about them.

You tube comments are a great example of how pathetically some people will behave in an anonymous environment without fear of genuine reproach. It isn’t just from children.

I have witnessed even on certain online  forums  the most low class comments you could imagine by men and women even in their 50′s who because you do not know them personally and because you have a bit of a profile think that it is perfectly normal behaviour to just fabricate some hateful comment.


Tim Ferris the New York Times best seller of 4 Hour Work Week and 4 Hour Body said if you don’t have internet haters then you clearly haven’t made it in business yet.

He jokes he has haters now in 35 different languages ( the number of countries his book has now been translated into.) He goes on to say it can be useful to even write controversial content on blogs to stir up the internet haters as with them engaging online with  your fans creates viral debate and in fact can spread your message even further.

The reality is it doesn’t matter who you are. You don’t even need to have a famous profile to become a victim of cyber bullying or Trolling. Many teenagers have had their lives destroyed by malicious  and viscous content posted online by others about them to cause damage and harm with many sadly taking their live as a result. Cyber bullying may just be an extension of the bullying types at school. The best way often to take on a bully is to stand up to them and draw a line in the sand and send a clear message that their behaviour won’t be tolerated.

By nature all bully’s underneath are cowards, insecure and desperately need to revert to such measures to feel some sense of self worth by trying to tear others down or have simply found a way to make money off their victims by extortion.

Either way these kinds of people are of low self esteem and need putting in their place. It is not proper behaviour and simply brings harm to the world.

Sadly this type of bullying is rampant in countries such as Australia which has perhaps one of the harshest online cultures anywhere and one where the tall poppy syndrome is perhaps more prevalent then any other country, which leads to very viscous online attacks.


In Australian it has become almost accepted with viscous online attacks used by industry lobbyists to target their competitors. It has always happened a lot in politics but sadly now with the ease of the internet it happens in business just as much.

It has been alleged that many journalists of well know publications run by large media companies like Fairfax Media earn under the table cash payments or other benefits on top of their journalists wage in order to deliberately write articles to defame and damage industries or individual competitors. It has been common knowledge for some time that different media empires support different political parties and write biased and defamatory articles and spread misinformation against the political opponents however this is happening in business just as much.

This should make us all question the integrity of mainstream news sourced from the likes of Fairfax Media and the ABC for example and we already know about the phone tapping scandals in the UK from Murdoch papers that NewsCorp’s integrity has long been called into question.


Then we have the so called consumer advocates in Australia. Probably the most laughable bunch who have somehow endeared themselves to trash media like Today Tonight and A current Affair.

These professional scam artists claim to be protecting consumers and advertise themselves as Consumer Advocates as though they have been appointed such a righteous position by higher authorities but all along they are lining their own pockets in an elaborate Multi-million dollar scam.

The biggest scammer of all is a well known individual who runs a real estate franchise and has for over a decade used cyber bullying tactics and suspect relationships with media journalists and certain tabloid TV shows to target his competitors. He is also behind many anonymous hate sites which spread falsities about competitors and even entire industries.

The scam has reportedly made him over $12 million and he now  makes even more by raising money off consumers under the guise to use it to run legal cases to protect consumers,  but allegedly he uses some of the money to defend against defamation or in some cases to sue those who speak out against him and his defamation. His tactic is to use a very well known publicly listed law firm to essentially extort money from victims through out of court settlements as most wish to avoid expensive legal battles.

The scam has worked so well for this man because many real estate agents have been so scared of being labelled as an unethical real estate agent through his media buddies or worse a ‘property spruiker’  that they have paid thousands per month to this man  for effective protection to no longer be slandered by him.

Those who haven’t succumbed to paying this man money have in many cases had their careers destroyed.

I know personally a good friend who moved to the Us after having his business career destroyed in Australia from this well run scamster   as he refused to pay money to have him stop defaming him online.

He is one of the most genuine and nicest guys you could ever meet yet his business was destroyed by this so called consumer advocate yet fortunately now runs a successful overseas business away from being targeted by this Australian scam artist.

This dangerous scam artist is still targeting individuals despite numerous death threats and he has bars on all his windows and requires security guards. Sounds more like a criminal boss than a do gooding ‘consumer advocate.’


Unfortunately in Australia defamation laws are weak and this man who is a serial defamer and litigious individual exploits this weakness as he knows most will not spend 3-5 years in court spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to win maybe $50,000 and  against a man that raises unlimited funds not only from his real estate scam but from more unsuspecting consumers thinking they are paying money to an official consumer advocate for consumer protection.

What can be done to stop scammers like this and internet cyber bullies from destroying more individuals careers and lives?

Well firstly Australia needs to strengthen  its defamation laws to have cases heard sooner and for less; and damages should not be capped so low.

Australia also needs new media laws where newspapers etc. must be forced to write a retraction the exact same size and page as the original offending  article if it’s found to be false or deceptive in anyway.

This would ensure papers were more focused on facts and not underhanded deception and reduce their power to destroy companies.

This may be wishful thinking though considering many of the law makers themselves get into power through such manipulation of the media.

No other business can sell false or misleading products or services without strict penalties so why should  the media be able to write deliberately false and deceptive articles?

How much money are the larger newspaper companies like Fairfax making from writing deliberate  stories against companies or industries that its advertising clients pay to defame their competitors?

They report how much in advertising they sell but have they ever reported payments or fringe benefits collected for running disparaging articles on select industries, companies or individuals or do they simply deny this practice exists ?

The other thing that can be done to stop blatant cowardly acts by cyber bullies and so called consumer advocate scam artists is for Google and other search engines to be forced to reveal who is behind anonymous defaming articles or remove the articles from the internet until verified.

Also there needs to be tighter laws on hosting companies. A lot of these hate sites are run by companies that specialise in being uncontactable. Google has to take responsibility from content it is selling Google ads next to. In the past ASIC has even run Google ads as a vendetta against a person whom has never been convicted nor even charged. They officially denied this but the ads were still running to their scam watch site.

Rather than use the law they act in devious ways to destroy companies that perhaps one of their staff has an issue with. Farifax have also been found to be guilty of running Google ads to intentionally defamatory articles in order to add insult to injury.

I personally took Google to court over an anonymous hate site and won a landmark case several years ago in the Qld Supreme Court.

See: Supreme Court orders Google Australia to release details of creators of website

However, despite Google losing this case, it has used its legal trickery to avoid disclosing the identity of such hate site operators running Google ads and are yet to abide by the Supreme Court

Order. The only information provided was to a false address.

Will the internet remain in many parts a wild Wild West where cyber bullies attack without fear of reproach and consequence or will humanity grow up and develop some courage and decide that life is much more fulfilling if you decide to be a force for good not a force for destruction?


  1. #1 by Amanda Wong on January 31, 2013 - 3:14 am

    Hi Jamie,
    its amazing how people hate just because your a public figure, especially Oprah!
    It just goes to show that if your doing well in life you become a target which is a real shame and says something about our society!

  2. #2 by Micheal Smith on March 19, 2013 - 1:27 am

    theres a lot of anger in this world is a real pity people have the need to destroy someone elses success, I guess we just got to keep positive

  3. #3 by Emily Short on November 30, -0001 - 12:00 am

    Wow, this website is a real eye opener! thanks Jamie, I’m a fan!

  4. #4 by Cindy Gable on September 18, 2013 - 12:16 pm

    cyber bullying is clearly a huge problem not only for our teenagers and kids

  5. #5 by Bob Nekrovski on November 16, 2013 - 7:16 am

    just ignore the haters… stops them breeding their negativity Bro

  6. #6 by PG Newhart on January 21, 2014 - 6:54 pm

    I was just thinking about this when I Googled “Internet has bred a society of haters” and I found this article. It’s excellent and sums up all the points and then some on what I was thinking. Virtually every news piece has a multitude of caustic comments. I especially find it amusing/pathetic when they digress into viewpoints completely off-topic. I just read an article pointing out the danger of liking some Facebook links that appear to be legitimate, but are actually ways malware publishers gather information. The comments digressed way beyond bashing Facebook and its founders into an anti-religion rant. It turns into a mob mentality.

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