Defamation and the Internet

By Eric Misterovich

Unfortunately, since users of the Internet believe they are anonymous, defamation is rampant on the Internet. Defamation on the Internet typically consists of a false and defamatory statement published to a third party on the Internet.  Defamation consists of two separate common law claims rolled into one concept: defamation that is oral is considered slander, while defamation that is written is considered libel. Since the Internet is a written medium, defamation on the Internet falls under the libel category.

 

Typically, the elements of an Internet defamation claim include:

  1. A false and defamatory statement;
  2. The unprivileged publication of the statement to a third party (someone other than the person defamed by the statement);
  3. Fault amounting to at least negligence or, in the case of public figures, actual malice; and
  4. Damage to the plaintiff.

Defamation on the Internet is also covered by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which states that a provider of an interactive computer service cannot be held liable for the republication of defamatory statements. This means that a service provider that does not create content, but merely transmits content, cannot be held liable for defamation or other related torts.

This complicates things for victims of defamation on the Internet. Revision Legal’s attorneys are experts at handling Internet defamation matters. If you need more information on defamation and the Internet, or if you need an Internet defamation expert to handle your case, contact Revision Legal today at 855-473-8474.

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