ESLinsider (Ian Patrick Leahy) Online Defamation Against TEFL Online Pro
The following article highlights for our readers one of the dark underbellies of the Online TEFL/TESOL industry – online defamation. It specifically exposes one such specific example, regarding ESLinsider, and also looks at how we recommend you respond to online defamation should you also become a victim of this spineless (often anonymous) crime.
For any of you unaware of the meaning of ‘defamation’, it is when knowingly false material is published online and with the intent to harm someone’s reputation.
If you have stumbled upon this article, you might have arrived here by typing ‘TEFL Online Pro reviews’ into a search engine.
Listed in that search will be examples of verified customer reviews of the TEFL Online Pro international TEFL/TESOL certification program, such as:
Verified customer reviews on our company’s Facebook page:
Verified customer reviews on Trusted TEFL Reviews – the independently-run Online TEFL/TESOL reviews website:
Business Competitor Attacks
But among the genuine TEFL Online Pro customer reviews, you will also see links claiming that TEFL Online Pro is a scam, untrustworthy, a fraud – none of which have been written by anyone who has taken one of our courses.
It was soon after when TEFL Online Pro won the Teachers’ Choice Award, 2019, when we first noticed the Reddit and forum posts appearing – attacking TEFL Online Pro with conspiracy theory slings of mud. At first, we didn’t really take much notice of them – they were so ridiculous that we brushed them off as prank posts.
But the false accusations grew over time and it has only recently been the case that we have been able to identify exactly who is behind the publication of this online abuse.
It is actually four schools – four of our Online TEFL/TESOL program competitors:
ESLinsider, ITTT TEFL, MyTEFL, and the TEFL Academy.
As the online attacks originated with Ian Patrick Leahy from the ESLinsider TEFL program, and the other three competitors have simply copy and pasted his misinformation, we will focus on ESLinsider in this article.
The ESLinsider (unaccredited) TEFL program is run exclusively by Ian Patrick Leahy. ESLinsider has been banned from Facebook (since 2017) for spamming and publishing misinformation, and it has had a number of its videos deleted by YouTube for the same reasons.
ESLinsider is notorious in the TEFL world for writing fictitious, malicious content about its business competitors – on anonymous complaint websites, discussion forums, Reddit, on the blogs it runs, etc.
Pick any TEFL accreditation body, TEFL program, or TEFL reviews website – ESLinsider will have written some trash about it.
At first, we were dumbfounded as to why Ian Leahy would spend so much of his personal time focussed on trying to bring down a competitor. But then, we had a read of his Online TEFL/TESOL school blog – located on his official school website pages – and we plainly saw that Ian is a serial defamer that piggybacks of the good reputations of his business competitors.
Why does he do this? What’s in it for him? Why waste the time on this unprofessional path?
Ian Leahy targets his competitors, because when he does so a post linking back to his school shows up in the Google results.
Let’s take TEFL Online Pro as this example. If you Google ‘TEFL Online Pro Reviews’ you see that Ian’s (ESLinsider) attack post is one of the first results for this Google search. This is because he has spent over two weeks now linking the article to other articles and posts that he has written on the internet. Ian is hoping that anyone who searches for TEFL Online Pro reviews will click on his post, be directed to his school website (where the article is published) and then become convinced to take his course, instead of the tefl online pro international TEFL/TESOL certification course.
However, it looks as though people are becoming wise to this scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel tactic as is demonstrated in a recent ESLinsider customer review:
Ian Leahy doesn’t just contain his defamation to website posts and articles published on his own school website though – he also spams his own YouTube channel with his relentless conspiracy theories.
Published on 12th July, 2020, this video is like watching one of Ian’s greatest hits – with TEFL Online Pro being his latest fixation.
It was because Ian obviously thinks that he can get away with online defamation with impunity – spreading false allegations in the hope of winning new customers for his own program – that we decided that enough was enough.
We began by issuing a Cease and Desist formal notice to Ian, via our company email address and a copy of this was published as a private message to Ian, on his YouTube channel. When Ian responded as though he could write whatever he wanted to, without consequences, we contacted YouTube and requested that the video be blocked in Japan – Ian’s current home country.
As you can see from the email screenshot above, YouTube also have a zero tolerance policy regarding Ian Leahy’s online defamation.
We feel that it needs to be pointed out here that Ian Leahy has been accused of faking ESLinsider customer reviews. We can’t comment on this accusation, because we don’t have any proof of this. Besides, we are far too busy – focussed on our customers – to even consider spending time investigating whether this accusation is true or not. What is clear though, is that Ian prefers to have full total control over his customer reviews and that the largest source for ESLinsider reviews are on the ESLinsider school website, where every customer but one has left a 5-star review of his program – which doesn’t seem fishy at all, right?
The only other “reviews” that we found of the ESLinsider Online TEFL/TESOL program are a few Quora posts, all claiming that ‘ESLinsider is legit’ and all (recently) written within days of each other. We searched for the ESLinsider Facebook page – an excellent source of verified customer reviews – but couldn’t locate a page for ESLinsider. On Trusted TEFL Reviews, ESLinsider just have the one (2-star) customer review.
So, what should you do if you find yourself a victim of online defamation?
If the information being spread is false, and if you know who is spreading the untrue rumour(s) then call the person/people out. It might not prevent them from continuing on their sick campaign, but it will let other people be made aware of the larger picture.
And if you do have access to a company lawyer, as we do, then we advise taking the legal route. It might seem expensive at first, and it might take some time to receive closure, but when that closure comes it will be worth it – both in terms of protecting your company name, and making the person/people think twice about doing the same thing to other people in future.
The particular issue with Ian Patrick Leahy is that he has now returned home to the USA and is leading a nomadic lifestyle, so it is extremely difficult to track him down for legal ramifications for his online defamation.
It must also be noted that his ESLinsider TEFL program is now pretty much dead in the water.
Despite the despicable actions of ESLinsider, ITTT TEFL, MyTEFL, and The TEFL Academy, we wish both companies all the best.
If they want to spend their precious time on this planet trying to ruin the reputation of a business competitor then that is their choice. We, on the other hand, prefer to focus on the development of our business and on our customer service support.
What we have done, though, is named and shamed these companies for their poor competitive business practices:
For any unanswered questions, contact us via the TEFL Online Pro official school website: https://teflonlinepro.com/contact-us/
Thank you for reading this ESLinsider Reviews And TEFL Online Pro Reviews Online Defamation article.
Paul Murphy | Operations Manager | TEFL Online Pro
The Teachers’ Choice Award winner in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022
The TEFL Academy (TTA):
TEFL Online Pro: