North Alabama woman sues after derogatory online post

Published: Jun. 30, 2016 at 3:40 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2016 at 9:29 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A North Alabama woman is fighting in federal court trying to figure out who posted her name and her picture on the website

Monika Glennon is a realtor in Huntsville and she has a message to everyone after finding out she was placed on the website.

She wants everyone to know that it can happen to any of us at any time.

Glennon said she lost her business, income and she suffered unparalleled public humiliation.

"I didn't understand. Why would anybody do that to me? I was petrified that people were going to see it, how can I take care of it, can I just remove it, what can I do." said Glennon.

The post about Glennon was an elaborate story from an anonymous source who claimed they were interested in purchasing a house. The poster claimed they were not able to get away from work to look at the home so she told her husband to go on without her.

The poster makes the following claim in her post:

"There on the plush, white carpet was my husband and our realtor. Do not use this woman as a realtor, she is the enemy of decent women everywhere."

That is when Glennon's nightmare started.

Glennon said everything about the post is a lie and for months now it has been circulated all over the web.

"That included Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, it was all over. My name, the only thing that was coming up was that post. Multiple search results," explained Glennon.

She said her reputation has been damaged and she is having to start new after 16 years of hard work.

Glennon also said she has already had to let one employee go. To add insult, the picture used in the post is the same one you'll find on her Remax signs.

"That photo is on every business card and every sign I have and that also cost money to change," said Glennon.

Her lawsuit includes copy infringement, libel, interference with business relations and emotional distress.

But who is she suing since she does not know who made the post?

"While they may think they are anonymous however, nobody is ever truly anonymous on the internet, there are ways to find out who they are and we're going to do that through the court system," said Glennon's attorney George Kobler.

The lawsuit lists John Doe as the defendant.

The website, shesahomewrecker like other social media sites, are totally immune from liability.

The Communications Decency Act of 1996 gives websites safe harbor so they can't be sued for copyrighted pictures, music or videos posted by their users.

"This can happen to anyone in any business and you have to run your business and prepare yourself in case this happens to you," said Kobler.

They plan to subpoena the website to hand over the IP address of who originated that salacious post and they don't plan on stopping there.

"That will, of course, include a very public retraction," said Kobler.

Glennon said she knows she will prevail and wants the person who did this to her to know that she is coming. Her guess on who would post such a nasty thing about, a rival realtor.

Her husband was there during the entire interview, supporting his wife and he doesn't believe the post for a second. They are about to celebrate 26 years of marriage.

Unless all of your photos are copyrighted, there's not much you could do to protect them. Once you post a picture online, it's impossible to control where it could end up.

Now, online defamation is a different case. You could fight it in civil court like Glennon. To have someone arrested on criminal charges, you would have to prove they also threatened you with bodily harm.

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