You can use these templates when contacting the author of online content like blog posts, articles, or videos to request their removal. You should modify these templates to fit your particular situation. They should not be used as-is since they are generic in nature.
The email templates below cover four scenarios:
- In the first content removal email template, you are contacting the author of content, asking them very nicely to change or remove it using an empathetic approach.
- In the second, you are contacting the author's manager, usually an Editor, if it is a larger organization. This template has a little more bite to it.
- Like the first email, the third email template is targeted toward the author. It is less empathetic than the first one and a bit more ominous as it touches more firmly on possible legal action. You'd use this one if you are pretty sure you have a case for libel (discussed below, but we are not attorneys, and this is not legal advice).
- The fourth email template should be directed toward whoever runs the website, usually a webmaster. In many organizations, this person is removed from the authorship of content. This template assumes you have already contacted the author.
These templates are not intended to be used sequentially in most cases. They are templates designed to be changed by you to fit your particular situation.
Important Note: Keep in mind that it is not always a good idea to contact the author, editor, or webmaster of a site that has posted negative information online. We have seen many cases where attorneys or victims of negative online content have made things worse by doing so. So choose wisely.
Template 1: Content Removal – Empathy Version
This first template is a gentle first request for content removal from a website or blog. Its tone is empathetic and human.
Using an empathetic approach to request the removal of online content is often effective because it appeals to one's human side, hopefully fostering understanding and compassion.
Rather than coming off as confrontational or purely transactional (as the next template might), empathy bridges the gap between the aggrieved party and the content creator. By sharing genuine feelings, concerns, and the impact of the content on one's life, it encourages the other party to see the situation from the affected person's perspective. T
his emotional connection can make content creators or administrators more receptive to the request, understanding that behind every post or comment, there are real people with genuine emotions.
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Subject: Request for Modification or Removal of Content
Dear [Author's Name],
I hope this letter finds you well. I recently came across an article on [Author's Website/Platform Name] titled "[Title of the Article/Post]" published on [Publication Date]. I wanted to express my feelings and concerns regarding the content, especially in relation to the personal and identifiable details it includes about me.
Firstly, I genuinely respect the freedom of speech and the role of journalism or content creation in our society. I understand that sharing stories, perspectives, and insights is crucial for a vibrant and informed community. However, seeing my personal information in the context of the article has deeply affected my mental and emotional well-being. Friends, family, and even acquaintances have brought it to my attention, and it's become a matter of concern for both my personal and professional life.
I genuinely believe that every story has multiple facets, and I respect your perspective on the matter discussed in the article. My humble request, however, is for you to consider the unintended consequences it might have on an individual's life when they are explicitly identified, especially in a negative context.
To that end, I kindly ask if you could either:– Modify the content to remove or replace my name and other personally identifiable details. or
– Consider removing the article or post altogether.
This request comes from a place of vulnerability and hope for understanding. I believe that as authors and creators, we share the responsibility to consider the impact of our words on the lives they touch. By making these changes, you would be granting me peace of mind and the ability to move forward without the weight of this particular narrative overshadowing my interactions.
I genuinely hope we can find a middle ground that respects both your freedom as a content creator and my privacy as an individual. I would be more than willing to discuss this further if you'd like or provide context that may have been missing from the original content.
Thank you for your time, consideration, and understanding. I eagerly await your response.
Template 2: Content Removal – Editors Version
The negative content removal letter template below is a combination of template 1 and template 3 (below) in that it uses an empathetic tone but with an undertone of possible legal action in the future. This template, once modified, should be used for the Editor, who may be the manager of the author of the content.
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Subject: Concerns Regarding Content Featuring My Personal Information
Dear [Editor's Name],
I hope this letter finds you well. I'm reaching out in relation to an article published on [Publication's Website/Platform Name] titled "[Title of the Article/Post]" from [Publication Date]. While I understand that in your esteemed role as an editor, you oversee a vast array of content, I felt it necessary to address a matter that personally concerns me.
First and foremost, I genuinely value the essential role that journalism plays in our society and the freedoms it champions. However, the article in question features certain details and perspectives that not only have deeply impacted my emotional well-being but also stand to jeopardize my personal and professional reputation.
Through sharing this concern, my sincere hope is to foster an understanding of the ramifications of this content from my viewpoint. Having said that, while my primary objective is to navigate this situation with empathy and mutual respect, it's important to mention that I've sought legal advice regarding the content's potentially libelous nature. The last thing I desire is for this to escalate into a more formal dispute, which could be taxing for all parties involved.
With these factors in mind, I kindly request:A) Collaboration with the article's author to modify the content by removing or replacing my name and any other personally identifiable details. or
B) Consideration for the complete removal of the article or post, given its potential for harm.
By addressing this issue empathetically and promptly, I believe we can reach a resolution that upholds the integrity of [Publication's Name] and grants me peace of mind. I would greatly appreciate your understanding and swift action in this matter.
Thank you for your attention, and I am hopeful for a resolution that both respects my concerns and maintains the high standards of your publication.
Template 3: Content Removal – Legal/Libel Version
This template for the removal of online content is a bit stronger. It relies less on empathy and more on the possibility of legal action. Use this one only if you believe you have a provable case for written defamation, known as libel.
Libel refers to a written or printed form of false statement that unjustly harms the reputation of an individual or entity. It is a subset of defamation, which encompasses any false statement, whether spoken (slander) or written (libel), made publicly to damage a person's reputation. The key aspect distinguishing libel from other forms of defamation is it's written or published in nature.
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Subject: Urgent: Addressing Potentially Libelous Content
Dear [Author's Name],
I hope this letter reaches you in good health and high spirits. I am writing to address a serious concern I have about an article published on [Author's Website/Platform Name] titled "[Title of the Article/Post]" dated [Publication Date].
While I wholeheartedly support the freedom of the press and the importance of open dialogue, I must draw your attention to certain aspects of this article that are not just damaging to my reputation but, from my perspective, seem to border on libel. Libel, as you may be aware, involves the publishing of false information in written form that injures someone's reputation, and it carries with it potential legal consequences.
Specifically, the article contains assertions and details that are either factually inaccurate or taken out of context in a way that presents a misleading and harmful portrayal of my actions and character. Such misinformation has not only caused significant distress to me personally but also has the potential to irreparably damage both my professional and personal reputation.
Given the gravity of this matter, I strongly urge you to take immediate action in one of the following ways:A) Retract the article or post in its entirety.
B) Make the necessary corrections and amendments to ensure the content is accurate, fair, and free from potential libelous statements. This would include removing or rectifying the false claims and removing my name and any personally identifiable information.
Failure to address this issue promptly might leave me with no choice but to seek legal recourse to protect my reputation. However, I genuinely hope it doesn't come to that. I believe that responsible journalism and content creation, even when addressing contentious issues, can be done without resorting to potentially harmful inaccuracies.
Please understand that this isn't just about defending my name; it's about ensuring that the information the public consumes is accurate and just. I am hopeful that you will treat this matter with the urgency and seriousness it warrants.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter, and I look forward to your swift and positive response.
Template 4: Webmaster Request to Remove Content
This template is the basis for a request to the webmaster who runs the site on which the content has been published. The language of this request assumes the content author has already been contacted and has not responded. Edit as you see fit.
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Subject: Urgent Request for Removal of Potentially Libelous Content
Dear [Webmaster's Name or "Webmaster"],
I hope this message finds you well. I'm reaching out with deep concern regarding an article hosted on your platform, [Website Name], titled "[Title of the Article/Post]" and published on [Publication Date].
While I understand that as a webmaster, you may not be responsible for generating the content, I believe it's crucial to alert you to the fact that this particular article contains statements and representations that are not just misleading but potentially libelous. These inaccuracies are causing significant harm to my personal and professional reputation.
To provide a brief overview, the article makes several false claims and presents certain information out of context, resulting in a grossly distorted portrayal of events and actions associated with my name. I have attempted to address this issue with the author directly, but either due to their unresponsiveness or reluctance, the content remains unchanged and publicly accessible.
Given the potential legal implications of hosting libelous content, I respectfully request the following actions:
A) Temporarily suspend or remove the article in question while the matter is being reviewed.
B) Collaborate with the content author to either correct the inaccurate statements or remove my name and other personally identifiable information from the content.
C) Should the author be unresponsive or unwilling to make the necessary amendments, consider the permanent removal of the article from [Website Name].
I genuinely hope to resolve this issue amicably and without resorting to legal proceedings. However, the urgency and gravity of the situation might compel me to take further actions if not addressed promptly.
Your platform, [Website Name], likely hosts a plethora of valuable and informative content for its readers. It's in all parties' best interest to ensure the information presented is accurate, fair, and free from potential harm.
I sincerely appreciate your understanding and prompt attention to this matter. I remain optimistic that we can find a satisfactory resolution and ensure the integrity of content on [Website Name].
Thank you, and looking forward to your swift response.