The advances in internet techniques had a major impact on the manner of an individual’s expression. Not only can one, share his views instantaneously but he now has a larger audience to share it with. But all is not well, it has also given people a medium to settle grudges and easily lash out at anyone just because they feel untouchable and unaccountable. People nowadays feel that they can write anything online without facing any repercussions.
Many individuals and online/offline businesses have fallen prey to these libelous tendencies. As a result, they are left, bearing the burden of their damaged reputation and character. The various Governments and Courts have taken note of these online libelous tendencies and have restructured or are in the process of restructuring the laws to deal with rising trends of defamation cases.
Meaning of defamation and online defamation
Defamation constitutes any false libelous or slanderous statement or statements that are published or broadcasted that are damaging to the character or reputation of an individual or entity. In the case of online defamation, the medium of publication is the internet such as social networking sites, blogs, etc.
Laws governing online defamation
Many Governments are structuring the laws to handle online defamation of character lawsuit due to a rise in online defamation cases. A few of the existing laws and Acts that governs the online defamation cases are already in place like The Communications Decency Act Of 1996. Many successful online defamation lawsuits cited defamation removal law like The Communications Decency Act Of 1996 during the trial.
The Communications Decency Act Of 1996
The primary purpose of The Communications Decency Act Of 1996 (CDA) was to deal with pornography and other adult contents that are free and extensively available online. It also pertains to the indecent and defamatory contents that can be found on various internet platforms, that is, it has application in the field of online defamation.
The section of The Communications Decency Act Of 1996 or CDA that deals with online defamation is section 230. The section primarily focuses on the liability of Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) for the contents that are stored on their servers. They are only exempt from this liability if they have not been notified of the infringement. If they are notified then they are bound by this law to remove the content in question or face legal action.
Countering the defamation
The online defamation can be successfully countered using the following two methods
- By using the internet and search engine optimization (SOE)
- By taking legal action
Using the internet is suitable for businesses to counter bad publicity and online defamation. It involves the spreading of positive inputs through your own sources like employees and search engine optimization to omit or downgrade the negative comments from internet searches. This tool is majorly used to limit and heal the damage done by online defamation
Legal action is taken both by individuals and businesses alike to make the source of defamation liable and so that punitive action could be taken against the person or responsible party. It also discourages others from following on the footsteps of the guilty party.
Countering and handling the online defamation is a complex but a necessary process. You need a specialist attorney that specializes in the field of online defamation to make any headway in countering the problem. The primary objective of such a legal action is to make the responsible party pay for their actions and the satisfaction of avenging your injured reputation.