Essay about Rise and Risk of Libel on Social Media

Essay about Rise and Risk of Libel on Social Media

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Rise and Risk of Libel on Social Media

Social media is a fascinating and compelling form of interaction between people all over the world. It allows us to dispatch information to the public swiftly but unlike broadcasting through radio or television, there is no gatekeeper. Information that is put on the Internet never really goes away and because of its instantaneous feed to the public, it can cause irreparable damages. These damages include a rising growth of defamation cases involving online content found on social networks. Social media has become a hotspot for potentially libelous statements.

Lawsuits involving social media usually concern claims of defamation. Defamation is any statement that that can hurt an individual or company’s reputation. When written and published, defamation is called libel and when spoken it’s referred to as slander. In terms of social media its commonly libel. For a statement to be charged as libel or slander, the plaintiff has to prove that someone made the statement, it was published, caused him or her harm, that the
statement was false, and that it was published recklessly(Middleton,100).

Social media makes it easier than ever to make a defamatory statement. Twitter, Facebook and blogging websites allow you to “publish” any statement instantly, allowing thousands of people to read it. Some defamation cases are immediately dismissed by the court while others result in million dollar fees. The case of Clay Corporation v. Colter and Desert Palm Surgical Group v. Petta are examples of how serious defamation cases can be.

In June 2012, a social media defamation case was brought to trial, the Clay Corporation v. Colter. In Massachusetts, Clay Nissan fires an employee and the emplo...


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...ject, 28 July 2009. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .

Governo, David M. "Social Media Defamation Victories Assist Companies in Fighting Reputational Attacks | Lexology." Social Media Defamation Victories Assist Companies in Fighting Reputational Attacks. Globe Business Publishing, 9 Jan. 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.

"Lynch v. Christie, 815 F. Supp. 2d 341 (D. Me. 2011)." Lynch v. Christie, 815 F. Supp. 2d 341 (D. Me. 2011). N.p., 7 Sept. 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .

MacHenry, Kelly. "Arizona Civil Verdicts 2011." SWLAW. SWLAW, June 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .

Middleton, Kent, and William E. Lee. The Law of Public Communication. N.p.: Pearson Education, 2014. Print.

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