So, It's now just out of plain curiosity, if I were to write:

During those times, selfish assholes ruled over a significant part of Earth, the three most notorious of them was Google, the ministry of Family Friendly content, Fakebook, Ministry of fake news, and Nestle, the ones who privatized water.

When the Alliance of three (benevolent conspiracy) revealed themselves, the first one to fall was obviously Nestle, I still recall the day when Hitler-chan (the codename of a member of the benevolent conspiracy) stormed into the meeting room, wearing his trusty GP-7 gas mask holding a fuming flask, filled with a combination of vinegar and bleach.

As soon as they spot them, the guards, quickly stood aside, not wanting to ruin the show...

...Funny thing about chlorine gas (what Hitler-chan cooked up) is that it's really effective once in contact with water, melting your lungs when inhaled.


  • In the Wikipedia page of Nestle, the controversies tab's first line (directly below the title) reads: "This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it."

Humor aside, what would happen (from a legal perspective) to a novel/story/whatever, if it's a fiction and it contains something similar to the example I made?

  • Please note, the example is made up, and has been purposefully exaggerated. – Mephistopheles Nov 30 '17 at 20:00
  • 2
    I would say that it is pretty obvious that it is satire/jokes but why would you risk such a thing? Google, Nestle, Facebook have billions of dollars. Even if they can't win a case, they will burry you in legal fees until you are willing to retract what they view causes a bad image of them. It might be better off saying Oogle or elgoog, Fakebook is probably good enough. If you really want or have to, it would seem the best advice is to modify the name but again it's not really well advised to talk poorly about anyone that is real. – ggiaquin16 Nov 30 '17 at 20:48
  • 2
    I am not a lawyer but based on my interpretation of what I have been told, In all probability you would be sued and lose. I think this would be defamation, unless you stick scrupulously to verifiable truth. Changing names doesn't protect you, if the majority of a jury would find the name changes transparent and the target of your defamation clear. There is a reason you don't see this much except on some comedy shows (that have full time expert lawyers on the network staff to vet every word). Fear. Bloggers have been bankrupted. I'd suggest you find some other way to have fun. – Amadeus-Reinstate-Monica Nov 30 '17 at 22:57
  • @Amadeus yes very true and I am not condoning the act, however, it seems you would be more likely to get away with something doing that (even if it is fractionally less) than directly using the name. Either way, I generally don't recommend it as stated. Bruce Almighty did Yaweh instead of Yahoo for the E-mail system even so far as copying the jingle if i remember right. But they didn't defame them, merely a play on words. – ggiaquin16 Nov 30 '17 at 23:50
  • 1
    @Thomo yes it does, but it is still a play on the company name of Yahoo. I am aware that Yahweh is hebrew for God. – ggiaquin16 Dec 1 '17 at 15:31

As previously stated; you would be sued for defemation, and you would lose.

I would go on to ask why you came to the question in the first place.

Is it part of a rough idea for a plot?

If so, you do not need to - and should not - use names of real companies or real people. You can, however, get away with having similar entities with similar business practices, under different names.

A common practice is to only use real names as a point of comparison (the next Google, similar to Facebook, etc ). In these instances, it is often immediately followed by a reference to how the fictional entity differs from the real one.

Is the intention to 'wake people up' to corporate greed and/or the government corruption that enables it?

If that is your aim, and specific entities are the point of writing, I would suggest a different medium than fiction. Writing an article (or articles) examining the specific, questionable business practices of these companies, would be the best (safest) bet.

In this case, be sure to fairly and honestly portray the facts, and avoid using hostile, opinionated wording. (Opinions such as "selfish assholes" should be left out). Rely on specific incidents, verifiable by credible sources - which you would include - to shine a light on the subject.

The goal of writing is not to force readers to 'see it your way,' but to give them the information and motivation needed to come to their own conclusions.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.