Attorney Interview: Balancing Transparency and Privacy

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, maintaining an online presence has become a crucial aspect of personal and professional identity. However, with the rise of cyberattacks and malicious intent by hater-creators, it's essential to strike a delicate balance between transparency and privacy. This blog post delves into a personal journey involving a difficult decision to remove certain personal details from my website, the importance of guarded online presence, the role of my DMCA and defamation attorneys, and why it's time to prioritize privacy without compromising professionalism.

 

The Dilemma of Personal Information Online: For many, sharing personal and professional details online has been a practice dating back years. The early internet era saw a trend of full transparency, where individuals showcased their accomplishments, education, and experiences to build trust and credibility. However, times have changed, and the open nature of the internet has allowed unwarranted attacks, cyberbullying, and defamation to thrive.

 

The Decision to Remove Personal Information: Imagine being cyberdefamed and subjected to malicious cyberattacks that tarnish your reputation and compromise your sense of security. Such an experience is harrowing, to say the least. When facing such adversity, the idea of removing personal information, even when it has been proudly displayed since the inception of your online presence, becomes a necessary consideration. This decision, while difficult, aims to protect oneself from further harm and to prevent innocent references from becoming targets of hatred.

 

Guarded Online Presence: A New Imperative: While transparency was once synonymous with building trust, today's digital landscape requires a more guarded approach. This is not to suggest hiding important achievements or credentials, but rather being selective about the details shared. The excess of personal information available online opens the door for malicious individuals to exploit vulnerabilities and launch unwarranted attacks. In the age of cyberbullying and doxing, it's paramount to prioritize safety over full disclosure.

 

The Role of DMCA and Defamation Attorneys: In the face of cyber defamation and attacks, legal experts such as DMCA and defamation attorneys play a pivotal role in providing guidance and protection. Their advice to remove personal information that could be exploited demonstrates a recognition of the risks posed by oversharing. These professionals understand the legal implications of defamation and online harassment and advise a more cautious approach to safeguarding one's reputation and digital environment.

 

Embracing a New Perspective: It's essential to recognize that in today's interconnected world, proving oneself to naysayers and haters is an exercise in futility. Striving for authenticity and professionalism doesn't require laying bare every aspect of your life. If a legitimate individual or business partner wishes to verify your credentials, they can do so through private channels, ensuring that your information is shared on a need-to-know basis.

 

In conclusion, in the journey of personal and professional growth, adapting to changing circumstances is a mark of resilience. The decision to remove certain personal details from your online presence isn't a step backward; it's a step toward safeguarding your reputation, protecting your loved ones, and securing your digital environment. While the era of full transparency may have once been a symbol of trust, the current climate demands a shift towards cautious sharing and the prioritization of privacy. Let your accomplishments speak for themselves, and let your authentic interactions define your credibility. In the end, it's not about proving yourself to the world, but about nurturing genuine connections and collaborations.

 

Since being attacked by those who wish to assassinate my professional credibility and personal character, my legal team advised me to remove the full transparency starting January 1, 2023. In light of this, I decided to interview one of my attorneys for this post...

 

** BEGIN INTERVIEW **

 

ME: Given the evolving landscape of online presence and privacy, I'm sure my readers will be eager to gain insights on the importance of safeguarding personal information so thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Attorney: I appreciate your efforts in raising awareness about this topic. While I prefer to maintain anonymity during this interview, please understand that my choice has no relation to you personally. Like you, I am also taking precautions against what you refer to as "hater-creators." With the challenges I already face in my cases, I have no desire for additional drama (laughter). On a serious note, being part of your legal team is a pleasure, and I value your commitment to following the action steps we suggest, even when you might be hesitant (chuckling).

ME: (chuckle), Well, I am definitely stubborn but I pay you to advise me so I best listen (chuckle). Anyway, let's dive in. Could you provide us with a brief overview of the role of DMCA and defamation attorneys in today's digital world?

Attorney: Of course. In an era where digital interactions have become integral to personal and professional life, DMCA and defamation attorneys play a pivotal role in protecting individuals and businesses from online threats. DMCA attorneys are experts in navigating copyright and intellectual property issues, especially in cases of content infringement. Defamation attorneys, on the other hand, specialize in addressing false statements that harm one's reputation, which is unfortunately all too common in online spaces.

ME: Given the prevalence of cyberattacks and defamation online, could you shed some light on why it's crucial for individuals to be more guarded about the information they share?

Attorney: Certainly. The internet has provided incredible opportunities for communication and connection, but it has also exposed individuals to unprecedented risks. Cyberbullying, doxing, and defamation have become serious concerns. Oversharing personal information can make you susceptible to these threats. It's essential to remember that you can still build trust and credibility without divulging every detail of your life. Selective sharing allows you to present a professional image while minimizing vulnerabilities.

ME: You mentioned selective sharing. Could you elaborate on how individuals can strike a balance between building trust and protecting their privacy?

Attorney: Of course. Building trust in the digital age involves showcasing your achievements, skills, and expertise while being mindful of the information you expose. Avoid sharing too much identifying details. I mean don't share home addresses, family members' names, or intricate life stories. Focus on the highlights of your education and accomplishments but not the details like dates and student ID numbers or other things that are directly relevant to your professional endeavors. This not only safeguards you from potential threats but also ensures that your audience respects your boundaries.

ME: Well, as a DMCA attorney, you already know that hater-creators don't respect anyone's boundaries yet expect everyone to respect theirs... but that's mental health related. So, back to legalities. What advice would you give to individuals who are hesitant to remove personal information that they've shared openly for years?

Attorney: It's understandable that changing one's online approach can be challenging, especially when transparency has been a long-standing principle. However, circumstances change and times are very different today than, say, in the early internet days. As a result, so are the growing threats that we face. If you've been targeted by cyberattacks or defamation, it's important to prioritize your safety and reputation. That's why we have strongly advised you to removing certain details as a strategic step, not a retreat. Remember that your true accomplishments will shine through regardless of the information you choose to withhold.

ME: Are there any other reasons why DMCA and defamation attorneys often recommend a more cautious approach to sharing personal or professional information online?

Attorney: Yes, we are attuned to the legal risks associated with online activities. Our recommendations are rooted in a deep understanding of the potential consequences of oversharing. By advising a more guarded approach, we help individuals avoid legal pitfalls and protect their digital reputation. It's about proactively ensuring your online presence remains a professional asset rather than a liability.

ME: Could you highlight a real-world example where a more guarded online presence could have prevented a significant cyberattack or defamation case?

Attorney: Certainly, I'd be happy to provide an example. Imagine a professional who had openly shared intricate details of their personal life on social media platforms. This included their daily routine, work schedule, family members' names, and even vacation plans. Unfortunately, an individual with malicious intent gained access to this information and used it to orchestrate a cyberattack targeting their email accounts and sensitive work-related data. Additionally, this attacker launched a defamatory campaign, tarnishing the professional's reputation with false allegations.

ME: Wow. Yeah, I can see that. So what is an alternative in this scenario?

Attorney: If the individual had maintained a more guarded online presence, disclosing only necessary professional information, the attacker's access points would have been limited. The attacker would not have had the arsenal of personal information to mount such a coordinated attack. By drawing a line between what's relevant to their professional image and what's unnecessary, the professional could have prevented this ordeal altogether.

ME: So when my haters say I disappeared or removed some details as you advised, stating I did so because I was hiding or debunked, are they correct?

Attorney: Absolutely not. With your accomplishments, you couldn't hide if you wanted to (chuckle). Hopefully nobody believes their unfounded claims and accusations because the example I provided emphasizes the importance of carefully curating what you share online. It's about creating a digital environment that showcases your expertise and achievements while safeguarding your personal life and details not necessary to conduct business from those who might exploit it.

ME: Thank you for that. Your example, and my experience with this recently as well as having been a victim of ID theft three times in the early days, it truly does underscore the significance of being cautious with our online presence and understanding the potential consequences of sharing unnecessary things.

Attorney: Of course, if everyone listened to this advice, I wouldn't have as many clients.

ME: Well, I know I've kept you and your team very busy since being attacked so viciously online this past year. Let me ask you this... As a victim of online character assassination myself, a common question that arises is why those who are attacked, slandered, and defamed online don't choose to sue the hater-creators. I believe I covered it pretty thoroughly in my Social Media Monsters book that comes out in July 2023, but could you shed light on this matter?

Attorney: Absolutely. Pursuing legal action in response to online attacks is a complex decision influenced by various factors. The main reasons that contribute to this hesitation are, first and foremost, the complexity and cost. Lawsuits often involve evidence gathering, attorney fees, and court processes that not everyone can afford or dedicate time to. Next, since many online detractors can hide behind fake identities, it can be difficult to identify them and bring them to court. Then of course, there is the emotional toll because it is draining to ask victims to relive or prolong their misery, which is often up to six years on average. It'd be much easier to legally address this at the local or state level, but we are struggling with various jurisdictions across the world, all with their own laws. And of course, there are freedom of speech concerns that courts have to balance as well.

ME: Understood. Are there cases you can readily think of where concerns about publicity and exposure impact the decision?

Attorney: Absolutely. Legal proceedings can attract media attention, potentially amplifying the negative content or allegations. I mean, just look at politicians and the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard case. That's why many individuals opt not to exacerbate the situation by involving the legal system or media platforms.

ME: Maybe I already asked you this, I don't remember, but I'll ask anyway. Do limited resources and other priorities play a role?

Attorney: You did ask but maybe I didn't clarify. Some people prioritize moving forward from the negative experiences rather than engaging in lengthy legal battles. Many choose to focus on rebuilding their reputation and overall well-being instead.

ME: Are there instances where individuals resolve such issues through means other than legal action?

Attorney: Yes, definitely. In your particular situation, we seriously considered pursuing a class suit, what laypeople refer to as a class action suit, against those responsible. Interestingly, during our initial investigation, only one of your detractors owned a house, which was quite modest at best and was protected as a homestead. Beyond the house, there was nothing, not even a job. As for the others we managed to identify with assistance from the platform's legal department, they essentially possessed no belongings and had minimal funds in their bank accounts. Consequently, it made more sense for you to redirect your resources and time, focusing on writing your book "Social Media Monsters." Additionally, many victims tend to withdraw from public view after such attacks, making it challenging to locate and involve them in a class suit. Often, individuals explore alternative avenues like reporting content to social media platforms, requesting the removal of defamatory material, which I know is almost always ignored. Others engage in mediated discussions to resolve conflicts.

ME: What's essential to remember when considering legal action for online attacks?

Attorney: Every situation is unique, and individuals make decisions based on personal circumstances, resources, emotional well-being, and desired outcomes. Legal action is just one option and its feasibility varies case by case.

ME: Thank you for providing insights into why pursuing legal action might not always be the chosen path for addressing online attacks and defamation.

Attorney: You're welcome. It's important to understand all of the complexities and nuances involved in these decisions.

ME: Any final words of advice?

Attorney: Sure; it's crucial for individuals to recognize that a guarded online presence doesn't equate to secrecy; it's about making informed decisions to protect oneself from the risks of the digital world. People can be mean, lack remorse, seek attention and are selfish. This can be a highly hazardous combination.

ME: Wise words indeed. Oh and one final question if you don't mind. Over the years, I've encountered criticism directed towards my handwriting analysis and forensic graphology career. Interestingly, some fellow handwriting analysts have approached me politely and privately as professionals should, inquiring about my ability to identify elements in someone's handwriting that they couldn't discern. Furthermore, I've accurately predicted - I hate that word - distressing outcomes in various cases for law enforcement agencies. Yet, instead of embracing an additional tool for societal safety or engaging in constructive, private, or even professional dialogue to address their concerns, my haters have chosen to publicly label me as a liar, fraud, snake oil salesman, and charlatan. This is despite my videos that disprove their claims. I sometimes wonder if they attribute my proficiency to an elusive "special magic power" (chuckle). Although I have gone into great detail of the psychological factors behind these types of individuals in my book, I'd like to know what your thoughts are on this intriguing dynamic?

Attorney: I'll do my best because I know that such situations can indeed be frustrating. While I'm not an expert in psychology, I can offer a few insights that might shed light on this matter. The first one that comes to mind is the misunderstanding of expertise. Sometimes individuals may not fully understand the depth of your expertise and the complexities of handwriting analysis. This lack of understanding could lead to skepticism or dismissive attitudes. The next thing may be that your opinions pose a threat to status quo. Introducing new insights into an established area can disrupt the status quo. People might resist change and challenge approaches they're unfamiliar with, even if those approaches have merit. Then there is always the famous miscommunication. The online environment can exacerbate miscommunication. Nuanced discussions are often more effective face-to-face, where tone and body language can be better understood. We don't always have that online. A big one is confirmation bias. People tend to seek information that confirms their existing beliefs. If someone has a negative predisposition towards handwriting analysis, they might be more inclined to focus on criticisms or debunking attempts. In line with that is a fear of disruption because embracing new approaches can be daunting, especially in fields like law enforcement or psychology. As you know, the fear of change could lead to automatic resistance. Lastly, likely in line with your hater-creators is that many engage in hater behaviors to provoke reactions, satisfy personal agendas, and the specific items you listed in your Social Media Monsters book. By the way, thank you for letting me review it before publishing.

ME: Understood. Although you gave specific thoughts on the hater-creators but what about if you think I have special magic powers (chuckle)?

Attorney: Oh, yes, the magic powers (chuckle). I think your diverse background in mental health, criminology, and your extensive education in various aspects of human behavior has significantly contributed to your proficiency in handwriting analysis. The ability to interrelate these different areas of expertise allows you to bring a multifaceted perspective to your work.

ME: For the haters who may see this interview, can you elaborate a bit more on that? Are you saying I don't have magic powers? (chuckle)

Attorney: (chuckle). Okay, for starters, your education and experience in mental health and criminology provide you with a deep understanding of human behavior, psychology, and the factors that contribute to personality traits. This knowledge allows you to see beyond surface-level characteristics in handwriting and make connections to underlying psychological dynamics. Then of course there is contextual analysis in which your education in criminology has taught you about environmental and situational factors that influence behavior. This awareness can guide you in interpreting handwriting within the broader context of an individual's life and experiences. By combining all of these on a now well-developed unconscious level it enables you to provide nuanced interpretations where you can consider the interplay between psychology, behavior, and handwriting traits to arrive at a more comprehensive assessment. Because of all these factors coming together in your work, you could potentially predict (and I know you dislike that word) certain behavioral tendencies or reactions based on the handwriting analysis. This predictive aspect can be particularly valuable in forensic psychology and criminology contexts. I just realized I'm rambling but those are my educated guesses, so I hope it all made sense.

ME: It actually did make a lot of sense. I can see how those graphologists without any mental health background or related field experience may not have my specific skillset and therefore question my findings from time to time. Thank you so much for your valuable insights today. This conversation has truly shed light on the delicate balance individuals must strike between transparency and privacy in the modern digital landscape.

Attorney: Thank you doing this to educate your readers. It's been a pleasure discussing these important matters, and I hope our conversation encourages individuals to approach their online presence with both confidence and caution.

 

** END INTERVIEW **

Contact an experienced & affordable attorney!

Originally posted on Wordpress on 12-27-2022