How Internet Defamation Can End Up In Court

Defamation happens all the time on the Internet with false rumors being spread. Due to this fact, it's often surprising to find out that defamation is a form of personal injury. However, it may be difficult to persuade the courts that certain forms of defamation would justify compensation for your injuries as the defense will often successfully argue that the act of defamation was simply free speech. Therefore, you'll need help from a personal injury attorney who has experience with defamation cases.

Reckless Disregard for the Truth

One of the most basic components of defamation is that it must show a reckless disregard for the truth. The person making the false statement needs to know that the statement was false. However, it can be difficult to prove that the defendant really didn't know that the statement was not true.

Jurisdiction and Determining Who Defamed You

When you are defamed on the Internet, you may have a difficult time finding out who was in control of the account that posted the defamatory statements. You will then need to determine who has jurisdiction over your case. This is difficult because the Internet is a global service and whether or not you may sue a particular party for defamation may hinge on the laws in the nation that the other party resides in.

Common Defenses That Don't Hold Up

Oftentimes, an individual will make a defamatory statement by saying "I believe" or "I heard." This can still be considered defamation because the statement is being passed off as a statement of fact. Also, including the word "might" does not make the statement not defamatory.

Statements that are not considered defamatory are those that are a matter of opinion. For example, telling a comedian that they aren't funny is not defamatory because that is an opinion.

Taking Down the Content

In addition to seeking damages in response to the defamatory content, you will likely want to have it taken down. If the content is posted to a large social media platform, they are more likely to be willing to take down defamatory content so they can avoid facing legal action themselves.

Retaining a lawyer can assist you because you can send a cease and desist letter to a website that refuses to take down defamatory content. You are essentially threatening legal action and your decision will be taken more seriously if you are working with a lawyer.

For more information, reach out to a personal injury law firm.