Abraham Lincoln once said, “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Unfortunately, in a world where opinion often replaces fact, and one negative article or blog post can live on the internet forever, a person’s reputation is not always a product of one’s true character, particularly online.

The same holds true for corporations and other artificial entities. A corporation’s reputation can be destroyed or severely tarnished by a single allegation accepted as true the moment it is posted. This is especially true when the government is the one making the allegation. While newspapers and other private parties can be sued for defamation, governments are generally immune from such suits at law. Does that mean that the government can say anything it wants about you or your company without any means to stop it?

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