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InterPersonal Conflict - Defamation Vs Impersonation

As blogs are being increasingly used by ordinary people, to make their mark in the world, they are also being used by people to annoy or assault others, mock others, and other attacks of varying severity.

In Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, we regularly get questions like
How do I get a stalker's defamatory blog removed?
How long does it take to resolve an impersonated blog complaint?
Someone has created a fake blog using my name - how do I get Blogger to remove this, or do I just sue?

With these questions posed, the first thing that we need to do is identify the difference between Defamation and Impersonation.

Understand the difference between defamation and impersonation.

  • Defamation (libel, ridicule, slander, trash talk) is a civil offense. The offended party will need to get a lawyer, initiate a lawsuit, and / or get a court order requiring specific action by Blogger / Google.
    US domain sites such as, Blogger, Page Creator, etc. are sites regulated only by U.S. law. Given this fact, and pursuant to Section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act, we do not remove allegedly defamatory material from U.S. domains. The only exception to this rule is if the material has been found to be defamatory by a court, as evidenced by a court order.
  • Impersonation (identity theft, masquerading), on the other hand, is a TOS Violation.
    Impersonating others: Please don't mislead or confuse readers by pretending to be someone else or pretending to represent an organization when you don't. We're not saying you can't publish parody or satire - just avoid content that is likely to mislead readers about your true identity.

You report TOS violations using the Blogger "Report Abuse" wizard. Problems which do not constitute predefined TOS violations are personal issues, which you have to resolve on your own, and using your own funds.

You use Blogger Help: Report a Terms of Service Violation, where you have selections for both Defamation, and Impersonation, among others. Selecting Defamation, you'll get the above advice.
Given this fact, and pursuant to Section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act, we do not remove allegedly defamatory material from U.S. domains.
What will happen, as the CC TLD aliases are deployed for more countries, remains to be seen.

In either case, you should probably start by hiring a lawyer. Blogger and Google, being based in the USA, will decide the case, impartially.

Understand rights, responsibilities - and limitations.

Be aware of personal rights and responsibilities, and the limitations, before you start.

  • Yours.
  • The party with whom you are disagreeing.
  • Blogger / Google / Any other web site host.

Be aware of Blogger / Google legal guidelines.

You can make a complaint, but be aware of Blogger / Google's concerns. Just as they don't want you unjustly persecuted, they don't want a third party to be so, either.

You may check Blogger Help: Report inappropriate content - and Blogger Help: Harassment and bullying content on Blogger, for some suggestions, however.


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