Things to Remember When You Sue for Internet Defamation
Social media sites like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram provide users with a platform to interact publicly and freely. However, if someone posts a hurtful or false comment about someone else a defamation lawsuit may be in the offing. Defamation is of two types: libel, which refers to comments in writing, and slander, referring to spoken statements. Since we're in the YouTube, podcasts, blog posts and status updates, both types apply in online defamation cases. If you're considering suing someone for defamation, here are 3 tips you should consider:
Save a record of defamatory statements
A defamation case requires proof of hurtful or false statements being published and seen by at least one other person. This need not necessarily be a blog post, video or status updates; comments can suffice. However, because it's quite easy to delete comments, as the victim, it's important that you act quickly to preserve evidence of the comment being made.
There are a number of ways to preserve proof, such as printing a copy of the defamatory post comment, which should include site URL as well as date and time of publication; taking screenshots, and saving the web pages for offline viewing. An experienced defamation attorney Aaron Minc
can offer advice on what to do for your specific case.
Evidence of hurtful statement being false
Whatever the statement made about you, you must be able to show that it's false for it to be deemed defamatory or slander
. For example if someone claims you're a tax cheat, you can prove that their comment is false by unearthing your tax records. Public figures will also need to provide evidence of malice--that the person who made the comment intentionally disregarded the truth. An experienced attorney should be able to come up with a way to prove this.
Don't post disdainful reply
When you're dealing with a defamatory statement online, you may get the urge to respond with a scathing comment of your own. It's best, however, to no let your emotions get the better of you. Revenge, as they say, is a dish best served cold. Though you may feel aggrieved, be aware that responding with an angry comment will only make things worse, and could even lead to a defamation lawsuit against you as well. You will instead want to find an experienced attorney to help with damage control, and to also provide guidance on the best course of action.
You might also want to check out http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/law/law/libel-and-slander
for related stories and information.