Defamation can occur in many different places, and online platforms are no exception. Some people can file lawsuits against their employers and coworkers for posting defamatory content, and others can sue the website or platform where the content was published. The problem is that online defamation cases can take years to resolve and cost a large sum of money. Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid these difficulties.
First, if you are concerned about libel that is posted on a public forum, you must know what the rules are. If the individual has posted the statement anonymously, you can still file a lawsuit. You can also use a subpoena or social media forensics to identify the person or entity that posted the statement. If you are unsure whether you have standing, talk to an internet attorney.
The main problem with pursuing an online defamation lawsuit is the possibility of the Streisand Effect, a phenomenon that draws a lot of attention. While the lawsuit might be frivolous, the Streisand Effect can draw viral attention to the defamatory content, rendering it useless. It is also impossible to delete content that has gone viral. Therefore, it is best to seek legal advice from an experienced defamation attorney to avoid these issues.
Another challenge to online defamation law is the increased accessibility of the internet. While some online content is moderated to remove offensive elements, defamatory content is not. Online content creators must be aware of these issues and protect consumers from them. A recent case in Australia highlights the difficulty in defending yourself when defamatory content is posted on a social networking website. A cheater shaming website can post false allegations about your business.
Another common mistake that people make is to think that their personal injury attorney is the only option for online defamation lawsuits. While a personal injury attorney can help protect you in these cases, a lawsuit filed against a company or individual is likely to have a higher chance of success. In some cases, the court will even award compensatory damages if the content is "unreasonably false," resulting in significant relief for the victim.
Despite the difficulty of locating defamatory online content, businesses should make every effort to respond to complaints within 48 hours. Using tools such as Google Alerts to alert businesses when they are mentioned online is helpful as well. Online consumers are eager to hear from businesses and are more likely to believe a business is responsive. This method of communication can have a significant impact on the way the defamer gets the message removed.
If a defendant has an online presence in more than one jurisdiction, online defamation lawsuits can often be brought in multiple states. Consider all the costs involved, creative solutions, and defamation defenses offered in each jurisdiction. Once you've narrowed down your list of possible jurisdictions, you'll need to analyze their favorable laws to decide where to file your lawsuit. If you have the proof, you may be able to make an excellent case against the defendant.