The Issue of Online Defamation
The worldwide web is surely an extraordinary thing for individuals and society when all is said in done, however they are likewise a particularly viable rearing ground for possibly hostility.
Many individuals have learned that the internet enables individuals to talk their brains too effectively. The web is packed with fascinating sites where somebody could deliberately or unintentionally leave a conceivably defamatory remark or post.
While some sites screen posts for fiery or unlawful substance, the screening is not capable of inspecting each article for possible defamatory content, thus numerous defamatory postings wind up on the web (eg: fake negative reviews).
As a matter of fact, there were some known court cases which involved name defamation:
- When the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a suit against two companies and their principals over a “gag” clause aimed at preventing negative reviews.
On Sept. 24, 2015, the FTC filed a complaint for permanent injunction and other equitable relief against Roca Labs, Inc., Roca Labs Nutraceutical USA, Inc., Don Juravin and George C. Whiting (hereinafter referred to, collectively, as Roca Labs).
The FTC accused Roca Labs of attempting to dissuade customers from posting negative reviews, not to mention the baseless claims on their products which are the weight loss supplements guaranteed to be an effective alternative to bypass surgery. More about this story here
- When Ava Bird published a negative review against Dawn Hassell.
Dawn Hassell is the managing attorney of the Hassell Law Group, a California personal injury firm. Hassell and her firm represented Ava Bird during the summer of 2012.
However, after 25 days, Hassell withdrew from representation. In January 2013, Bird published a negative and allegedly false review about her experiences with Hassell and her firm. More about this story here
- When Jessie Ventura sued Chris Kyle over American Sniper.
Jessie Ventura defied all the doubters when he claimed he had been defamed in a best-selling book. In 2012, Ventura sued Chris Kyle, a former Navy SEAL member, claiming Kyle’s book, “American Sniper,” included false passages about him. While there was proof in the book, he was alluded to in one chapter called “Punching Out Scruff Face.” After the book’s release, Kyle mentioned that he was talking about Ventura in the chapter. Jessie then told the court that if Kyle apologized for making up the story, then he would not have sued. He was then awarded $1.8 million.
- The accusations to Mark and Rhonda Lesher.
Mark and Rhonda Lesher of Clarksville, Texas, filed a suit against anonymous commenters who accused them of being sexual deviants, molesters, and drug dealers on Topix – a huge local forum site. The Texas couple was then awarded $13.8 million. More about this story here
These are only four living examples of how name defamation happens – may it be online or offline. It has been there since the early years, and until now, defamation exists. It just so happened that nowadays, it is easier to do it over the internet… no actual face and name needed. Everyone can damage one’s reputation with just a click!
The defamation of character is unlawful. It is an unprofessional practice if you want to grow your business too. You may not be sued if there was no case filed, but by knowing and seeing how unethical your marketing methods are, why should prospective clients trust you?