Multi-Level Marketing Company Threatens Blogger Who Writes Critical Post

from the just-because-you-don't-like-it,-doesn't-mean-it's-illegal dept

Over and over and over again, we hear stories of companies that simply dislike what others are saying about them online, and send over threatening legal letters with no legal basis. These cease-and-desist letters are mostly designed to scare users into giving in, because there's no law against someone criticizing you or saying something bad about you (assuming it's not untrue). The latest, sent in by Davis Freeberg involves the Everyday Finance blog. The blogger there was approached by a company called "Shop to Earn," which offers a multi-level marketing (MLM) system. The blogger wrote a post about it, which Davis Freeberg describes as "well balanced," though the blogger explained the weaknesses of the system and why he chose not to participate.

So what happens? Yes, of course, Shop to Earn got upset and sent Everyday Finance a legal nasty-gram demanding the posts get taken down. As Everyday Finance notes, it's likely this had something to do with the fact that the posts had made it up the Google search results list. The blogger at Everyday Finance tried to adjust the post, taking out things like the phrase "fatal flaw," but Shop to Earn said that wasn't good enough and Everyday Finance needed to take down the entire site. This is, quite clearly, bullying through cease-and-desist. It's about trying to shut up a negative review of their business model because they didn't like what it said.

And, it appears that Shop to Earn isn't just focused on the blogger at Everyday Finance. The company has also sent cease-and-desist letters to other blogs, which were also extremely critical of Shop to Earn's program (though, that link is also quite well-balanced, pointing out the key flaws to Shop to Earn's program). Apparently, Shop to Earn seems to think that any review of its program that is negative is somehow libelous, and will threaten bloggers with legal action. What it may quickly learn is that (a) someone giving you a negative review and pointing out the obvious flaws of your program is not defamation and (b) trying to threaten bloggers into taking down their site will simply call much more attention to all of those negative reviews.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: cease and desist, defamation, everyday finance, mlm, multi-level marketing, streisand effect
Companies: shop to earn


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jul 2008 @ 6:35pm

    They could just not open the emails like the Bush Administration.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.