Are you concerned about online video content about you or your business on the Web that may be hurting your professional reputation?  Do you need help with gathering evidence and understanding the legal process, but aren’t yet ready to hire an attorney to represent you? I interviewed digital forensic analyst and Internet libel specialist Michael Roberts about how a non-attorney like himself has helped an increasing number of victims of harassment and defamation online, and why he argues that our existing free speech laws need to be changed.

Mike’s full title is a rather lengthy one: Victim’s Advocate, Expert Witness,
 Digital Forensics Analyst, Electronic Discovery & Litigation Support Consultant. (Mike joked with me that you could add to his already-lengthy title, “Anonymous Blogger Bounty Hunter.”)

I previously reported for ReelSEO on the Carla Franklin case, which was the subject of national media attention last month. Michael was helping Carla Franklin with unmasking the identity of a person who she claimed was harassing her offline and online, and was making allegedly defamatory comments about her on YouTube, which is owned by Google. Both of them were interviewed on the CBS Early Show.

More On Libel And Defamation With Google/YouTube

You can check out more Interenet libel and defamation podcast interviews at In my own interview with Michael, we talk about the following topics:

  • What does an Internet libel specialist do, and how they help their client’s and attorneys’ clients with defamation cases involving video?
  • How are Google & YouTube handling libel claims?
  • What’s the legal process for filing a libel claim like?
  • What are the costs?
  • Mike’s hypothesis about how Google’s “diversity algorithm” purposefully displays negative, and sometimes outright malicious and even defamatory search results (and video in those search results)
  • Why Mike says that the Communications Decency act has created “an incentive for libel” to proliferate online, and why he believes the act should be changed.
  • “Libel tourism” in online video, and how cases may be tried where the offended party is located and where the damage has been done.

“I don’t want you to think I’m a Google basher; I do think it’s an incredible company.” Says Mike. “But it’s become like a big grown-up body, but with a teenage mentality as far as the quality of the results. and I don’t think YouTube or Google are rearranging the information in the way that they could be in accordance with their mission.”

FTC Disclaimer: Thanks to for commissioning myself and the engineering studio Creative Core Networks to produce this show, and allowing us to make it available at ReelSEO.