What is Defamation?
"Defamation is a communication that damages the reputation of a person, but not necessarily the individual's character" (Pember and Calvert, p. 141, 2006).
What Is The Problem?
Defamation has become a growing issue over the years with social networking sites and websites, and the laws are not protecting the victims who are being personally affected by it.
"The number of defamation actions brought over derogatory posts on social media has surged by more than 300 percent in the past year" - (Burrell, 2014).
Why Does It Matter?
- Online defamation is becoming more and more of a problem with the growth of technology, computers and social media
- Defamation can damage a person's reputation and can affect their lives in a negative way
- Defamation can be spread in a matter of seconds online and people need to be protected
- Those who are behind the online defamation need to be held accountable and punished for their actions by the law
Online Defamation Examples
Facebook defamation case leads to $500,000 settlement.
"Jones says she had to have a conversation with the 15-year-old students in her class to clear her name -- telling them she did not have an STD and does not sleep around." -Kashmir Hill, Forbes Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/03/30/bengals-cheerleader-who-sued-the-dirty-for-ruining-her-reputation-now-facing-reputation-ruining-charges/#7cfffb147814
While online defamation continues to grow, the law needs to protect people's reputations from those who may want to ruin it with their words.
1. Require websites and social media sites to take down defamatory material when requested by the victim and have those sites be legally considered publishers.
2. When social networking sites host defamatory content, they should be held liable for defamation of the content that they are hosting.
My solutions are feasible, realistic and would help with the growing issue of online defamation.