What is Personal Reputation Repair

We hear a lot of reputation damage these days. The question is by no means new, but it seems that in the age of the Internet and social networks , the possibility of causing harm of this kind to someone or suffering it has been amplified. In fact, if on the one hand hyper connection makes interactions between persons. Whether physical or legal, extremely easy and fast, on the other hand. It is clear that the possibility of causing offenses or being offended increases proportionally.

The right to reputation,

in the Italian legal system, is protected as an asset with constitutional significance. Although it is not expressly mentioned, in fact, the protection of reputation can be obtained from the combined provisions of Articles 2 and 3 of the Charter.

The right to reputation falls, together with the right to image, name and honor, in the context of personality rights.

The same is protected, then, in a relevant way by art. 595 of the Criminal Code which provides for the crime of defamation in the event that someone “by communicating with more people, offends the reputation of others” .

Social Network

In addition, as far as is of interest here, the offenses to reputation perpetrated through social networks are peacefully assimilated to the offenses carried out by the press and which therefore integrate a specific aggravating circumstance of the crime of defamation.

The damage to reputation is not resolved only in the damage caused to the natural person. Injured in his or her dignity. But also extends to the working-professional sphere of the injured party. Furthermore, the fact that the damage to reputation can also concern legal persons is recognized, both by doctrine and by jurisprudence.


They damage the reputation of the natural person

The right to a personal reputation concerns the intimate sphere of a particular subject. It has to do with the honor and prestige that that person brings with him. Specifically, it is the consideration that a person enjoys in a certain environment or with a certain circle of people, whether small or large.

It should be noted that, in the event of an injury, the concept of reputation must be evaluated from the outside: in the words of the Court of Cassation, “the allegedly defamatory conduct of the person must not be evaluated” quam suis “, that is, with reference to the consideration that each it has its reputation, but rather as an injury to the honor and reputation that the person enjoys among the associates “.

If there is a damage to reputation, the person who considers himself damaged can take action for compensation for damages of a patrimonial and non-patrimonial nature. In particular, for the settlement of the latter type of damage. The judge will take into account a series of criteria such as. For example, the public office or professional role covered by the injured person. The consequences on his profession or on his life, the nature of the fact that was falsely attributed to him. The time lapse between the occurrence of the event and the claim for compensation, etc.

Damaging Fact

Although in the past it was believed that once the existence of the damaging fact was proven. Proof of damage was not necessary, the now consolidated jurisprudential orientation appears different. On the subject, it seems appropriate to cite a fairly recent ruling by the Court of Cassation, according to which “in the matter of civil liability deriving from damage to honor and  reputation  , the  compensable damage  is not in re ipsa and must therefore be identified, not in the injury of the inviolable right, but in the consequences of such injury, so that the existence of such  damage non-patrimonial must be the subject of allegation and proof, and its liquidation must be carried out by the judge on the basis, not of abstract evaluations but of the concrete prejudice presumably suffered by the victim, as deduced and proven by this “.


They damage the professional reputation

The injury to professional reputation concerns the loss of trust. It esteem on the part of the people with whom the person comes into contact or interacts in his work environment.

The damage to personal reputation and that of professional reputation, also defined as working or commercial, must be kept distinct even if many times they can occur at the same time .

If the first, in fact, involves an injury to the dignity of the person in the round. The second refers exclusively to the damage to the professional prestige. That person in the workplace in which he operates.

Also in this case, the injured party can request compensation for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage. The assessment of the injury does not automatically entail compensation for the damage : it is up to the injured party to prove that the damage to his reputation has caused him a financial loss or non-pecuniary damage.

Commercial Dignity

Lastly, it should be noted that anyone who has suffered a damage to their reputation. In the personal sphere or in the workplace.  We can request compensation for damages regardless of whether a crime is ascertained.

This is because the violation of personal or commercial dignity and dignity constitutes a violation of a value protected by the Constitution. In this regard, the Court of Cassation was also clear in stating that“Compensation for non-pecuniary damage pursuant to art. 2059 of the Italian Civil Code, in relation to art. 185 of the Criminal Code. It does not require the unlawful fact to concretely integrate a crime. As it is sufficient that the fact itself is abstractly envisaged as such and is, therefore. Capable of damaging the interest protected by the criminal law;

so that, for the purposes of compensation for said damage, the inexistence of a sentence by the penalty judge does not constitute an impediment to the finding by the civil judge of the existence of the constituent elements of the crime “ .


The right to reputation for legal persons

As anticipated, the protection in case of damage to reputation is also extended to legal persons, who, if damaged, will be able to request compensation for damages. In this specific case, the non-pecuniary damage will be given by the reduction of the company’s consideration in the sector in which it operates.

The Council of State also intervened on this point, specifying that The right to image , which is expressed in the consideration that a subject has of himself and in the reputation he enjoys, cannot be considered the exclusive prerogative of the natural person, therefore having to be recognized also to legal persons “.


Reputation injury: an example that embraces the three cases described

As already mentioned, personal and professional reputations, albeit distinct, can be damaged on the same occasion.

On closer inspection, it is not difficult to find cases in which conduct is capable of damaging. Reputation in the three forms described above. An example can help you understand better.

Professional Skills

Take the case of a youtuber or a blogger that publishes various kinds of content on a channel or page owned by a particular company. Well, it is not at all uncommon to come across users who. Not appreciating what has been published, launch themselves into real invectives against the divulger and the page in question. Such behaviors, very often, can go beyond the sacrosanct right of criticism. To result in aberrant comments, insults and in some cases in outright defamation.

The disparaging comments, in such cases.  We can concern both the dignity and professional skills of those who publish the content. the page hosting such content. So, with a few lines under a post. Or video you can potentially violate the right to reputation as described in the three forms.