Defamation is the act of causing damage to a good reputation of an individual or brand simply to cause damage to their reputation. This is now seen more than ever thanks to the power of the internet and the ability to post on major review sites anonymously.
Through the use of sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and other review sites, it’s now easier than ever for someone to leave false and negative reviews to damage a brand, while keeping the reviewers information private and secure. With this type of actions and sites in play, law practices are now focusing more time than ever on internet defamation.
Another playground for defamation is through social media, where over 2 billion users can post updates on their recent experiences, opinions and anything else they like at any given time,
To understand what internet defamation is, how you can spot it and also take action against anyone who might be using these false and defamatory practices against you or your brand, be sure to check out the “All You Need to Know About Internet Defamation for Marketers” infographic below.
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Nowadays, it becomes common that you find defamatory statements posted on various sites, but what exactly is internet defamation and do you know that the statement is defamatory?
What is Internet Defamation?
- A statement posted on the internet is categorized as defamatory if:
- It is a poor-given false statement based on the fact.
- It has been publicized to more than just one person.
- It has caused harm to others.
People who have been subject to internet defamation can defend themselves by:
- Truth—The only thing that can truly fight defamation is the truth.
- Questioning the harm caused by the defamatory statement is a good defense.
- Prove that the defense has either knowingly lied or has not done due diligence in their statement.
- Uncover the anonymous posters, so you can sue them for defamation.
- A lot of people believe that posts on Twitter, Facebook and other review sites are defamatory statements. They aren’t exactly defamatory as long as they do not fall into the category stated above.
- When a defamatory statement has been added or has appeared on more than one site, every commenter to have posted is liable for the statement.
Statute of Limitation
- The statute of limitation for defamation falls in between 1 to 3 years. Within that length of time, the person liable must be convicted. Otherwise, the case will expire.
What Proprietors Should Know
Here are some things that a proprietor should know about internet defamation.
- The length of a defamation case all depends on the facts related to the case.
- So that you can quickly remove any defamatory statement or materials posted on the internet, you have to get a Temporary Restriction Order (TRO).
- When the losing party of the case did not pay, the winning party can get wages.
- You can still sue even if the statement is true.
- There are insurance policies that cover attorney’s fees so if you will, your opponent may have to pay your lawyer’s costs.
Steps You Have to Take Before Filing a Formal Lawsuit
- First thing you have to do is to contact your opponent and try to get a win-win compromise for the both of you.
- Second, you should contact the website to where the statement or material is posted and kindly ask them to have it removed.
- Third, have it removed from a search engine through a court order.
Things Marketers Should Know About Defamation Lawsuits
- Most marketing-related defamation suits are easily settled out of court.
- When inside courtrooms, bloggers are given the same protection much like mainstream reporters.
- You must know the defamation laws in the country by which there is a substantial presence of your company, especially since internet is international.
- When you have been subjected to defamation, it is important that you act quickly because news travels so much faster online. You have to keep daily tabs about your business online and take action at once. Otherwise, you’ll get blocked by the statute of limitations.
- Always check before posting especially if you are posting from a freelancer who knowingly writes something defamatory. In the end, you’ll be liable for the action.
When it comes to posting online, there should be extra care and diligence. When you don’t, some drastic actions can happen which only hampers your daily business activities.
Infographic source: KellyWarnerLaw.com