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How to Repair a Damaged Reputation Online

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This story appears in the April 2012 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Rep RepairAfter Denise Lones, founder of Bellingham, Wash., real estate marketing company The Lones Group, tried to stop a competitor from using trade dress similar to her trademarked zebra-theme brand, she got an up-close and unwelcome look at the dark side of the internet.

Blogger pals of her well-connected adversary, including one at a major industry website, blasted Lones for being a bully and filing a frivolous lawsuit, often misrepresenting the circumstances, she says. Some posts generated hundreds of angry responses, and anonymous callers began phoning her office, leaving scathing messages. At the low point, one person even decided to inject some personal terror into Lones' life by claiming her daughter had been in a serious car accident.

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