In this article, you will know how you can use social media without getting in trouble for defamation.
Let’s have a quick look at the start of our topic.
Now what has to happen for defamation according to the social media defamation law in the United States and that has to be published as we communicated to at least one person you can probably see how social media does this straightaway?
It has to contain something that damages the reputation of the person and it has to refer to the person doesn’t have to name them but people have to be able to identify who it is so publication is producing a document that can be viewed in different coffees.
So a tweet, a Facebook post or Instagram, hence all the posts on social media channels would all be published.
Let’s have a look at this case : allergy pathways was a company they were banned from making claims in their advertising material.
But on their Facebook page they had followers that continue to make these claims that were like medical claims or claims about what their product could do and the justice in the social media defamation case decided that having these claims even though they weren’t made by them on their Facebook page was actually publication.
So you can see publication may not be just as simple as something you’ve said it could be content on your Facebook page as well.
So people are allowed to take their reputation in the community and I’ve given a number of defamatory statements there that you can see their statements that people might make in the head of them up an argument or something like that and the third part defamations has to refer to the person as long as a reasonable person would know that it’s referring to them.
Here’s an interesting social media defamation case.
This happened in the United States.
Someone’s email account was broken into and the person who broke into the account then sent this email that they claimed was a joke saying that the person’s email has been hacked was gay and that they were looking for relationship.
So is it defamatory if it has been published.
Yes it is entering their reputation because it makes them come across as promiscuous.
I also would suggest it makes them come across as socially incompetent that’s not the sort of email a normal person would send and did they suffer a loss.
Yes they did. They were really cool. They left the workplace and that element of loss is very important and the judge awarded one hundred thousand dollars in damages.
Now this is a case of defamation on social media here where a story has been written about homelessness and comments made here James would be winking and licking his lips at the homeless youth that are there to be exploited like rich men like him.
The question is as a case study could this potentially be defamatory people hasn’t been published absolutely has it damaged reputation well there may be some admin around this in terms of the fact that is it clear what is implied is the licking lips is what style of exploitation is clear but even that word expectation.
I think it suggests that it’s damaging the reputation he has been paying as someone who has exploited it would exploit children even though it’s not clear exactly how and does identify.
Yes it does what are some possible defenses were honest opinion I think that honest opinion would be a reasonable situation.
I think it’s there would be any basis to hold that opinion that turning out likes exploiting and children waiver form is the truth unless they have some evidence that we’re not all aware of to reality you might talk about the fact that was in the context of a story and not a huge deal of Facebook posts.
But I think if that went to a court situation very interesting to hear and I think that it would not be the sort of social media comment you would want to go to court with okay if you’ve defamed someone first of all things you might do publish an apology and offer some reasonable compensation.
It’s important to know that this offer is not made with any acknowledgement of guilt so it won’t affect what happens if there was a trial as well.
We talked about some trivial defenses. The plaintiff unlikely to sustaining home honest opinion remember you can’t have not a supreme a second if it can be effect or not anonymous so there was an anonymous defamation case where someone just under the name which they ended up having to be having to pay compensation for defamation situation so some recommending that recommendation for high school students.
First of all you publish when you’re on social media so you have to be thoughtful about that, think about whether what you’re publishing is potential to damage the reputation of someone and go through the process of making amends.
If you need it’s important thinking whether the social media defamation around the internet is fair and just and I would suggest one thing that we need to think about here is whether people have enough understanding so key stakeholders.
People using social media didn’t have enough understanding that they are polishes and that’s where I’d like to see the social media defamation law so that anytime people engage with social media they are reminded that they are a publisher and they have responsibilities that go with that these could be at outlined in a very clear simple statement.
When people sign up to a social media account here in United States and then a reminder each time that they log on.
It wouldn’t take a lot of effort but it would help get past that point where people say I didn’t realize that what I was doing was publishing and that I had the potential to define people.
One thing to think about, what is that when you publish other people might share what you published or re-tweet or print or even use the news articles often pick it up and publish people’s tweets so you could have you sure that you’ve written opinion you’ve made shared very widely you have a significant responsibility as a publisher and it’s important to keep that in mind.
Who can I sue if I was defamed on social media?
if you can identify the person that published the false and defamatory statement against you on social media,
then you can sue that person.
It’s often difficult to track down the identity of an anonymous publisher over the Internet.
Now Congress passed a law called the Communications Decency Act that provides immunity to Internet service providers that are companies or individuals that create websites for the exchange of social media communications.
So you cannot effectively sue a social Internet service provider (ISP) but you can bring an effective defamation suit against an Internet service content provider that is one who places content on the website.
5 Tips to Avoid Defamation on Social Media
Social media provides enormous opportunities for businesses to promote and expand their message as well as encouraging the free flow of information.
But the all-pervasive nature of social media brings some unique challenges to businesses with an online presence information published online.
Regardless of what discussion abhors some exceptional types of protection.
The risk of being sued for defamation is very real even businesses who merely facilitate online posts by third parties risk liability if those posts are defamatory of others.
So what are the five most important things businesses need to do to minimize the risk of being sued for online defamation?
- Firstly establish appropriate policies. This means having a good social media policy and ensuring that any controversial material is vetted by designated employees before being posted online.
- Secondly check your facts. Don’t post unfounded assertions about a person or a business or repeat juicy rumors with no proper basis
- Thirdly train your staff. Educate them on the basics of defamation and provide annual training about your social media policy not just for your managers and employees but also your executives and the board.
- Fourthly if your business has a website which enables comments to be posted by members of the public review those comments regularly and remove anything you think is offensive or potentially defamatory as they say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Fifthly act quickly when put on notice of a complaint. This means removing the materials alleged to be defamatory, consider it carefully and better still obtain some legal advice about the risks of reinstating that material online. All parts of your business have a role to play in ensuring social media works for you and the defamation claims are few and far between.